Bring on the sunshine.
The summer solstice is quickly approaching, bringing us the most sunlight-filled hours in a single day for the rest of the year. You don’t need us to tell you that adding a little more brightness to your days is a good thing, but it’s important to know how exactly those extra rays affect your body. Here are a few major ways the summer solstice can impact your health.
It boosts your mood.
There’s a reason so many more people walk around with smiles on their faces in the summertime than in the winter months. More daylight means more chances for your body to up its vitamin D levels, boosting your overall energy and positive demeanor. The shift in day length also helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, as well as your hormones (like feel-good serotonin).
It helps you sleep.
Speaking of circadian rhythm, your body naturally picks up on the fact that the sun is rising earlier and setting later. That means you’re less likely to feel the urge to press the snooze button multiple times and sleep in, and your usual bedtime better aligns with what your body wants. What’s more, longer days often inspire us to be more active and spend those extra hours in the great outdoors. So by the time the evening rolls around, you’re feeling wiped out and ready for a solid night of shut-eye anyway.
It leaves more room for dehydration.
The downside of longer summer days is that you have to remember to drink more water throughout the day to remain properly hydrated. When you’re awake and active for longer — and spend more time among the natural elements — you lose more water thanks to perspiration. But hey, this doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Just consider it an extra excuse to splurge on your favorite juice or create some new iced herbal tea combinations. Hydration isn’t as much of a health chore when you make it interesting.
It also makes sunscreen even more important.
Last but not least, that UV Index is consistently hitting double digits now, which means it’s super important to stock up on that SPF and protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Make sure your facial moisturizer includes sunscreen in its formula, and if you’re going to be spending longer than 20 minutes outside at any given time, lather up with at least SPF 30. It’s about more than avoiding a sunburn — you’re protecting your skin from early signs of aging and increased risks of developing cancer down the line. Sunscreen is always your friend.