Thursday, September 1, 2011

Essay: How Light Can Affect Health

The power of light is something that few may consider during their lives. The changing of light has the ability to affect our mood due to increases and decreases of melatonin in your skin which you would think you would have the peak melatonin in the summer, but in fact it increases in darkness and promotes sleep. Another thing you may not realize is that light actually has an effect on your metabolism, heart rate patterns, and many other physical body functions. These things may be overlooked, unless of course you have a disorder like SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which is caused by inadequate exposure to the sun. Inadequate sun exposure also leads to a weaker immune system and could provoke diabetes and many other bodily dysfunctions. Coming from me, a person who has not really heard of these sun related disorders, before reading these articles, I had no idea that the human body could be affected so drastically by the changing of light. It is so intriguing to see that sunlight affects more than just emotion. It affects your bodily rhythm, as well as how you function on a day-to-day basis. Also, it is interesting to see that something as simple as ‘Daylight Savings Time’ could have so many negative effects on the body. It is similar to jet lag. You sort of have to make yourself adjust to it or else you will have consequences. Although there are some ways to trick your body into adjusting, there are some things that can only be helped by bringing in artificial light, avoiding the sun, or making yourself more available to the outside world.

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