CORAL SPRINGS, FL – More than 80 percent of 200 COVID-19 patients in a hospital in Spain have vitamin D deficiency, according to a recent study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Between the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of cold and flu season, and the end of Daylight Saving Time, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D.
Here are five ways to supplement sunlight exposure:
1. Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. While diet can be a source of vitamin D, exposure to sunlight for about 10 minutes a day produces a healthy level of vitamin D. However, many people do not get adequate vitamin D once the warm months end. If you’re one of them, talk with your health care provider about measuring your vitamin D level, and if it’s low, discuss taking an over-the-counter supplement. Your health care provider can advise you regarding the best supplement for your circumstances, but vitamin D, whether from the sun or a supplement, is essential to bone health, and has been scientifically proven to reduce the risk for heart disease, depression, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.
2. Calcium Supplements
Because sunlight produces vitamin D, which is essential to strong bones, it also might be beneficial to talk with your doctor about a calcium supplement, especially if you are at high risk for osteoporosis. An over-the-counter supplement, combined with a healthy diet and regular weight-bearing exercise, can help reduce these risks and at least during the winter months, may replace the benefits of sunshine.
3. Reduce Exposure to Blue Light
During winter months, as we spend more time inside, we’re exposed more to blue wavelengths that are emitted by energy-efficient lighting, and phone, TV, laptop and notebook screens. Exposure to those devices, especially after sundown, can affect your circadian rhythms and sleep cycle. Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (3 hours vs. 1.5 hours). The researchers concluded if individuals wore eyewear that blocks blue light, it could reduce the impact of its exposure. Turning off devices at least an hour before bedtime and using warmer light sources, like candles, may also reduce the impact of blue lights on sleep cycles.
4. Light Therapy
Many people find the winter months impact their mood, resulting in what’s commonly referred to as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Regulating mood can be a delicate balance between sunlight, and the hormones melatonin, and serotonin. If your mood seems to drop during the winter months, supplements and/or prescription antidepressants may be helpful, but your health care provider also might prescribe light therapy for SAD.
According to the Mayo Clinic, during light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. The box gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light and is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, easing SAD symptoms. Using a light therapy box may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders, and other conditions. Light therapy is also known as bright light therapy or phototherapy.
5. Infrared Light Using a Sauna
The sun produces infrared light, and when your body is exposed to infrared light it provides many health benefits. Infrared light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum which comes in three light waves: near, mid and far.
Near-infrared waves have a shorter frequency range and penetrate the epidermis layer of the skin. This is how near infrared is able to impact the body at the cellular level, encouraging tissue growth, speeding up muscle recovery and strengthening the immune system.
Far infrared therapy heats the body directly and rather than simply warming the air, it raises the core body temperature and produces a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, where most toxins reside. The sweat then pushes out the toxins, cleansing your body and rejuvenating your skin. Far infrared light also aids in blood pressure reduction and weight loss, along with a wide range of other health benefits.
In the summer months, the sun can make you sweat, and potentially sweat out the harmful toxins in your body, but you won’t likely have the chance to do that in the winter months.
Fortunately, the infrared heat sunlightened saunas use has the benefit of being effective at a more comfortable operating temperature of 100°-165°F, and also helps the body detoxify.
In addition, near infrared light is actually a form of photobiomodulation, referenced earlier as demonstrating preliminary evidence of clinical benefit for chronic diseases. Sunlighten has harnessed the specific spectrum of light needed to trigger a natural, photo-biochemical reaction. This recharges the cell’s mitochondria and stimulates cellular turnover.7 To achieve the maximum penetration, NASA research was used to develop a patented LED array that provides near infrared light at a singular wavelength with minimal variability and virtually undetectable heat and light.
Sunlighten’s lumiN is a hand-held device with four LED options – near infrared, red light, near infrared/red light, and blue light that features the breakthrough LED technology first introduced in Sunlighten’s 3-in-1 infrared saunas. Regular use can help promote the healing benefits of near infrared light.
Before taking any supplements or beginning a new health routine, be sure to talk with your health care provider to determine the best plan of action for your circumstances.
To learn more about our Infrared Light Therapy Sauna and to schedule a session at The Salt Room-Coral Springs go to https://www.saltroom-coralsprings.com/ or call 954.597.5545.
(Content shared from Sunlighten)
Louise Casper is the owner of The Salt Room-Coral Springs.