Dr. Jack Kruse
Why do we enjoy sunrises and sunsets so much? Is it just visual appeal or is it something more?
Lately I have been reading about how sun deprivation is becoming more common. With more screens and artificial light then ever, we are neglecting being outside. It is known that we need vitamin D, but another factor may be DHA.
According to experts like Dr. Jack Kruse, one key to optimal health is being exposed to natural sunlight. Along with absorbing energy through the skin, it may be important to get exposure through the retina of your eye.
In addition to the healthy affect on your skin, sunlight also provides another positive benefit. The human eye contains photosensitive cells in its retina, with connections directly to the pituitary gland in the brain. Stimulation of these important cells comes from sunlight, in particular, the blue unseen spectrum. A study by Dr.’s Turner and Mainster of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, published in the British Journal of Opthamology in 2008 states that, “these photoreceptors play a vital role in human physiology and health.” The effects are not only in the brain, but the whole body.
When using our phones and TV screens, we receive blue light which tricks our bodies into thinking we are receiving sunlight. It can mess with our sleep cycles, cause stress, anxiety and illness.
It is known that staring at the sun may be damaging, yet getting sun exposure to your eyes may promote healthy function of the bodies natural rhythms.
Sunlight: Good For the Eyes as well as the Brain
A big problem with these benefits is that only direct exposure will work. Windows, sunglasses, contact lenses, and other screens will block the benificial sunlight from entering your retina. How than do we get exposure without damaging our eyes? The key may be in sunrises and sunsets.
During the first hour of sunrise and the last hour of sunset, rays are far less intense. It is an ideal time for receiving fantastic views while also receiving benificial light energy to your eyes.
During this time you can receive DHA from the sun without damaging your eyes. Likely after watching a sunset, your body will naturally start preparing to go to bed. As opposed to a TV which will keep your body confused on when it is time to sleep.
Blue light from our devices imitate sunlight but will not replace it. It is recommended if you spend a lot of time every day in front of a screen, to get blue light glasses to help reduce exposure.
What is your experience with blue light exposure and natural sunlight. Share you experience and your sunset pictures!