When John Denver sang "Sunshine on my shoulders, makes me happy," he spotlighted full-spectrum light's ability to influence mood and health. And a new study reinforces just how important it is to get your daily dose of sunshine.
Nurses exposed to natural light had lower blood pressure, were more alert, had better interaction with colleagues, laughed more and had better moods when dealing with patients than those who never saw the light. Another study found that workers in windowless offices had more physical problems and worse sleep habits than their windowed colleagues.
One reason for the benefits may be that more sunlight means your body makes more vitamin D-3, but sunlight does more than trigger production of that essential vitamin. Light acts as a nutrient for metabolic processes, influencing your body clock, endocrine system, and pituitary and pineal glands.
Unfortunately, it's estimated that 10 percent of you have no access to sunlight during your workday, and in the winter, 30 percent of you go in to work before sunrise and head home after dark. So, make sure to take an outdoor break -- even for just 10 minutes -- at least twice a day.
Also, get your blood tested to see if you're vitamin-D-3 deficient. A recent study found that having low blood levels of vitamin D-3 may double your risk of dementia! We suggest that you take 2,000 IU of D-3 daily until you get the results of the blood test; then adjust your dose as your doc recommends. Chances are more outdoor time plus vitamin D-3 will boost your mood and your long-term health.
© 2014 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.