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When you first think about sun therapy, you may immediately think about sun exposure and the damage it can do. And while it’s important to be aware of the impact and danger of too much exposure to UV radiation, it is also essential to know the health risks associated with too little sunlight. Finding the right balance between too little and too much sun, can help your body to preserve optimal vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is important for helping to maintain strong bones, reduce inflammation and support your immune system.
Sunlight has also been proven to support your circadian rhythm, by helping to regulate your bodies serotonin and melatonin levels. Serotonin is increased through exposure to the sun. This chemical will help boost your energy levels and improve your mood. Helping you to stay calm and focused, and having an overall positive effect on your emotional wellbeing. Exposing yourself to early morning sunlight has been proven to help you sleep easier at night. Melanin produced in the skin through sun exposure, helps to produce melatonin in the body. Melatonin helps to induce sleep, as well as lower stress levels.
Watching the sunrise, while others slumber is a wonderful experience. This is a time that allows you to soak up healing red and infrared light. While also having an uplifting effect on your energy levels. To begin your sunrise therapy, you will need to choose a morning when the sky is relatively clear. This way you will be able to enjoy the full benefit of the suns morning light.
In order to catch the sun rising, you will need to find out what time sunrise is expected near you. This is easily done using the internet and modern technology. Next, choose where you will watch the sunrise, this could be your back garden, a nearby park or local hilltop. Wherever you choose, try and seek out somewhere peaceful.
Next prepare what you can the night before. Decide what you want to take with you. A packed breakfast, a warm flask, a blanket are just a few suggestions. Choose your clothing carefully, it is always colder before the sun rises, so layers are a good option. That way as you warm through you can remove a layer at a time. Finally, set your alarm, allowing plenty of time for dressing, filling your flask, travel, etc.
When you arrive at your chosen destination, find somewhere comfortable to sit. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Take this time to relax and enjoy the moment. Never look directly at the sun, but look around at the beautiful array of colours it produces. Stand in a sunbeam with your eyes closed and arms outstretched, feel its warmth and lightness wash over you. Once you have experienced your sunrise, sit and reflect on how you feel, is your mood uplifted? What feelings surfaced?
Take a sun bath
Scientists believe exposing your skin to the sun for ten to fifteen minutes a day is all your body needs to absorb enough vitamin D to stay healthy. This time frame does however, depend on several factors. These include the time of day, how close the the equator you are, skin tone etc. It is therefore, important to consider all associated risks before taking a sun bath.
To begin with you will need to dress appropriately for maximum absorption of the suns rays. This usually means suitable swim or underwear or very light cotton clothing. Next sit or lie down in the sun and relax (for no more than 15 minutes). If you begin sweating, feel dizzy or begin to get a headache, remove yourself from the sun immediately.
The best time to take sunbath is before 10 am and after 5 pm as the sun rays are not as strong. If you plan on staying out in the sun for longer than the recommended time it is important to apply sun cream. Always have a drink of water with you and keep yourself hydrated. In the winter months dress appropriately for the weather, but still try to sit in the sun each day.
Although sunset therapy has not been widely researched it is believed to have a positive impact on your health. Once again sitting watching the sunset exposes you to the suns healing red and infrared light. Although it is not thought to be as intense an experience as sunrise, due to there being more dust in the air later in the day.
As with sunrise it is good to take a blanket or extra layers with you, since the temperature tends to drop as the sun leaves the sky. Once again choose a peaceful spot to watch the sunset and enjoy the moment. The end of the day is a time of reflection. Remember everything you are grateful for that day. If there have been difficult times, allow yourself to let the feelings disappear with the sun.
As you can see there are many benefits to sun therapy and spending time in the sun. From increased vitamin D production to better sleep and boosting our mood. However, there are also risks associated with too much sun exposure. So remember to limit your exposure by wearing sun cream and keeping out of the sun when it is at its hottest. Too much sun exposure can result in sunburn and a greater risk of developing some cancers. It is also a good idea to check your skin weekly for any changes. If you notice anything out of the ordinary speak with a medical professional.
If you are looking for more natural ways to improve your health you maybe interested in this book – ‘natural highs for body and soul’. And for more morning inspiration, take a look at our blog ‘how to develop a great morning routine’. And please remember to tag us @surrender_to_happiness on Instagram with any pictures. We love to see you enjoying life.