Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Marla Ahlgrimm | Here Comes The Sun

Marla Ahlgrimm
The Beatles famously sang about the sun’s rising, citing that smiles would return along with it. Marla Ahlgrimm says that John, Paul, George, and Ringo were definitely onto something. According to the retired author and women’s healthcare expert, there is an undeniable link between the sunlight and a good mood.

Marla Ahlgrimm explains that the day and night cycle tells your brains when to release hormones. Specifically, sunlight triggers the production of serotonin. This is a brain chemical that’s associated with focus, calmness, and lightheartedness. When the sun goes down, the body begins to receive melatonin. Anyone who’s ever taken a supplement to help them settle in at night will recognize this is a potent sleep aid -- it’s also a natural hormone.

According to Marla Ahlgrimm, many people experience seasonal depression in the winter months. This is likely due to a decrease in sunlight. Fortunately, just as night turns into day, the sun sets on winter as spring returns, and sunlight ekes its way in by about an extra two minutes every day from December until June.

Light is used to treat certain types of depression. Known as phototherapy, patients utilize a lightbox either in their therapist’s office or at home. Like the natural sun, the light sequence in the lightbox tells the brain it’s time to slow down melatonin and increase serotonin production.

Marla Ahlgrimm
More than just mood, Marla Ahlgrimm says that time in the sunshine can also build strong bones and may reduce a person’s risk of certain types of cancer. As little as 30 minutes outdoors on a sunny day can help people naturally supply their own bodies with between 8000 and 50,000 IUs of vitamin D, which is crucial to bone health. And although overexposure can contribute to instances of skin cancer, getting a few minutes of sunshine on the skin each day may benefit those at risk of colon, ovarian, and prostate cancer.

Marla Ahlgrimm’s best advice: Get out into the sun for at least 15 minutes every day. Wear sunscreen, and avoid burns whenever possible.