The Effects of Natural Light Deprivation



The human body contains a very efficient “biological clock.” This internal mechanism is responsible for stimulating multiple systems
within the body. Without the proper functioning of this clock, systems that regulate mood may be disturbed, vitamin absorption may be affected, and sleep disorders and hormonal imbalances may result. The body’s biological clock is triggered to function when the body is exposed to natural light.

Recharging the body’s biological clock is like recharging a solar-powered wristwatch — when there is little light, the watch ceases to function normally. The human body naturally regulates and recharges its internal biological clock automatically when it is exposed natural light.

Natural light serves to correct the biological clock in our body if there is any change in the clock setting. Individuals who frequently travel to other countries in a different time zone experience a phenomenon known as “jet lag.” This is simply the body’s attempt to adjust itself to a new setting. An individual traveling from Asia to America or vice versa would find that the body resists adjusting to the new time zone until the internal biological clock is adjusted by the naturally occurring cycles of day and night in that particular time zone or region — the clock is effectively “reset.”

Technically speaking, when the body is exposed to light, the level of
serotonin, which is responsible for causing the state of alertness that keeps the body awake, increases. At night, the darkness tells the clock to release the hormone melatonin, which promotes sleep.

When the body is exposed to light or darkness, information is passed to the brain through the retina of the eye and the relevant hormones are secreted that tell the body to sleep or remain awake. This internal biologicalclock is tuned according to the light the body is exposed to.

Research indicates that aged people may need to be exposed to more light than younger individuals due to the less efficient processing of light. At least 20 minutes of exposure to natural light is necessary for the body to maintain its biological clock. Exposure to sunlight also promoted the efficient processing of vitamins and minerals. To ensure sufficient exposure to sunlight or natural light, make it a habit to spend time outdoors. If your bodily rhythm is affected by insufficient exposure to natural sunlight, light therapy may be necessary.

Disclaimer: The information in this article does not constitute professional advice. This article is for informational purposes only
and should not be taken as medical advice. It is best to consult with a physician.

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