A new research has found that the sun is actually good for your health. The idea isn’t exactly new, but according to a recent BYU study, when it comes to your mental and emotional health, the amount of time between sunrise and sunset is the weather variable that matters most.
Although the sun’s temperature might be hot and irritable but if you’re able to soak up enough sun, your level of emotional distress should remain stable. Take away sun time, and your distress can spike.
“That’s one of the surprising pieces of our research,” said Mark Beecher, clinical professor and licensed psychologist in BYU Counseling and Psychological Services. “On a rainy day, or a more polluted day, people assume that they’d have more distress. But we didn’t see that. We looked at solar irradiance, or the amount of sunlight that actually hits the ground. We tried to take into account cloudy days, rainy days, pollution . . . but they washed out. The one thing that was really significant was the amount of time between sunrise and sunset.”Therapists should be aware that winter months will be a time of high demand for their services. With fewer sun time hours, clients will be particularly vulnerable to emotional distress. Preventative measures should be implemented on a case-by-case basis.
The research was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.