The Sunshine Dilemma

The Sunshine Dilemma

We are increasingly aware of the dangers of sun exposure and the need to protect our skin from the ageing and damaging effects of the sun. There is another side to this story however, as sun exposure isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s mostly good!

There is a complex relationship between sunlight, melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is a hormone that controls sleep, and serotonin in a neurotransmitter that is tied to states of wakefulness and being in a “good mood.” Serotonin is the chemical targeted by a class of anti-depressants called SSRIs, which keep higher levels of serotonin in the bloodstream to help elevate mood.

The web connecting sunlight, melatonin and serotonin goes something like this: When the sun comes up, and sunlight hits the optic nerve, some of that light is sent to the gland in the brain in charge of melatonin. In response, melatonin secretion decreases. When the sun goes down, the body increases its secretion of melatonin.

At the same time, when the body perceives sunlight, serotonin levels increase. And the more sunlight the human body is exposed to, the more serotonin the brain produces There’s another factor involved in sunlight’s affect on mood, though: and it involves vitamin D. The body actually creates its supply of vitamin D from the sun’s ultraviolet rays hitting the skin, and high levels of vitamin D help the body maintain higher levels of serotonin [source: William Collinge, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Sunshine Lowers Blood Pressure, which prolongs Life

The latest research on the health benefits of sunshine was conducted by researchers from University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, who found that exposure of skin to the sun, cuts heart attack risks, by lowering blood pressure and adds years to your life. Study results showed that blood pressure levels decreased in people when they were exposed to UV radiation plus heat, but not when they were exposed to heat alone.


Dr. Richard Weller, Senior Lecturer in Dermatology at the University of Edinburgh says“We suspect that the benefits to heart health of sunlight, will outweigh the risk of skin cancer. The work we have done provides a mechanism that might account for this, and also explains why dietary vitamin D supplements alone will not be able to compensate for lack of sunlight,”

How the Cush’n Shade® might help

Our faces and heads are exposed to the sun more then any other part of our body, so we are strongly advised to give extra protection to this area. The Cush’n Shade® has been certified to provide the highest rating of 50 + UPF by ARPANSA (The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency) the Australian Government’s primary authority on radiation protection and nuclear safety.

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