The Effects of Sunlight on our Lives

In recent years we have been taught to be wary of too much exposure to sunlight. Modern scientific study has suggested that exposing our bodies to the detrimental effects of too much U.V. radiation could cause complications such as cancer and skin blemishes.

Now experts are arguing that nothing could be further from the truth. The National Cancer Institute have concluded after extensive research, that a lifelong exposure to sunlight is not only beneficial, it is also an essential ingredient in life that will actually help ward off both breast and colon cancer.

Researchers from the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego have found that 600,000 worldwide cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented each year, if vitamin D3 levels were increased,

Jacob Liberman, ( “Light: Medicine of the Future: How We Can Use It to Heal Ourselves Now”) reminds us that humans evolved under the light that is put out by our sun. He asserts that by hiding from the very sunlight that we evolved to thrive under, we harm ourselves by now hiding away from it. He explains that “light is the basic component from which all life originates, develops, heals, and evolves.”

Although Jacob Liberman advocates sunshine as a beneficial component for good health he also warns us that we must still be sensible to the effects that the sun can have. He warns against looking at the sun directly or overexposure during the hottest part of the day, which is between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00, and emphasizing that the body needs a mere hour a day, in natural light, without sun block or sunglasses, to gain full benefit.

Allowing ourselves sensible exposure to the healing rays of our sun gives us immeasurable benefits and affects us in a number of ways:


Without the sun, life would not have evolved. It gives us energy and heats our world by using the effects of thermal energy. The sun gives us light and thus in turn we are able to see the beautiful colors in our world. It revitalizes us and makes us feel good when we feel the warmth of its rays on our shoulders. We store the energy from the sun to help build and heat our houses.


Without sunlight we would not be able to sustain ourselves. Sunlight gives balance. All living things live in a food chain and at the beginning of the food chain come the humble plant which absorbs sunlight and convert its cells into energy, which will then be absorbed by another life to be converted into a new kind of energy and so on…


One of the most important nutrients that we receive from sunlight is vitamin D. It helps us to maintain a healthy immune system, regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which is needed to help keep our bones and teeth in tip top condition and helps to keep a well balanced mind.

Normally our brain will use sunlight to produce two types of hormones called melatonin, known as the sleep hormone, and is produced when sunlight levels drop, and serotonin the hormone linked to wakefulness and positive mood. Serotonin levels increase when we are exposed to bright sunlight and the alternating levels of these elements help to regulate the sleep/wake patterns in our lives. It has long been known by SAD sufferers that the onset of winter months can bring depression, and affect energy levels, cause irregular sleeping patterns, and promote appetite dysfunction.


The sun affects us in different ways worldwide. About half of the sunlight that is given out by the sun will reach the surface of the Earth. By absorbing some of this infra-red radiation the air will heat and expand and will rise. These are known as the thermal currents, and directly affect weather conditions on the planet.

Sunlight will also cause water to evaporate from water sources such as rivers, seas and green plants and turn the liquid into vapour, and dependent on the temperature, this evaporated water will fall from the skies as either rain, snow or be retained in the atmosphere as cloud formations.

Different latitudes on Earth receive varying degrees of sunlight, and will decide the region’s climate. For example, the farther away it is from the equator, the sharper the angle of the sun’s rays that reach it, which means that sunlight coverage will be more spread out, and receive less heat than lower latitude areas nearer the equator.


Depending on the tilt of the Earth at various times of the year, sunlight will also give us the four seasons. These seasons not only affect the way that we live but also have an impact on how we feel. Many people will experience different kinds of mood and behavior with the change of each season. Thus we have what is known as “The Winter blues” or “The passion of Spring”. People who suffer from the change of the seasons, such as a person with the condition known as SAD, will often seek “light therapy” to help combat the effects of lessened sunlight in their lives.

In conclusion, although it has been said that overexposure to the sun can have damaging effects to the human physiology, and on a worldwide basis has been the cause of devastating drought, floods and crop failure, there is no doubt that human kind and every living thing on Earth would also not survive without the sustaining properties of its life giving rays.


Latitude and Climate Zones
accessed 05/11/2008

Mind Publications Seasons Can Affect How We Feel and Act accessed 05/11/2008