Is Your Blood Pressure Higher in Winter?
By Tom Herrin
A lot of us seem to shift gears in the winter, for one reason or another. It may be that we simply have made a habit of living a different kind of lifestyle when the days are shorter, or it may be that they just feel it is something we have to do. Many of us think that the winter is a time in which we sort of retire from our normal activities and withdraw to ourselves. Whichever it is, many of us treat these shorter days as if they have different requirements. The fact is, we need sunlight every bit as much in the short days as we do when the days are long. When we lack sunlight, we risk shorting our health.
The Sun Can Lower Blood Pressure
Apparently there is good evidence that sunlight may be able to lower blood pressure. According to a study from the University of Edinburgh, UV ray exposure may have a positive effect on blood pressure. The study found that being exposed two times per day for 20 minutes at a time showed a lowering of blood pressure by quite a bit for one hour. It may be an adequate reason to include it in the daily routine for those with blood pressure issues.
The Sun May Help People Sleep
For years, people's lives were governed by the sun. They arose when it came up and went to bed when it went down. Sunlight still can have a significant effect on sleep. When we get plenty of it, our body will cease to produce melatonin, and we wake up. When the sun goes down, production will begin and our bodies receive a signal that it is time to go to bed. It can be good for sleep.
It Is Something to Think About
As inexpensive as sunlight is, since it is free, there is no reason to avoid getting more of it. All we need to do is plan to open a window or go outside. It is pretty easy. Since I suffer from, at least, mild SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, I try to get sunshine whenever possible. It always makes me feel better and more productive. When I can get enough sunlight through my windows, it also seems to help regulate my sleep just a little better.
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