One of the most overlooked environmental factors that can contribute to cancer is the lack of natural light. So as the sun sets on World Cancer Day, let's shine a light on the role natural light plays in the fight against cancer. From the warmth of the morning sun to the gentle glow of a sunset, natural light has the power to heal, comfort and uplift us. In this blog, we'll explore the ways in which natural light can aid in cancer prevention and recovery, and how our home services can help bring more of it into your home.
Link between natural light and cancer prevention
Studies have shown that people who are exposed to more natural light during the day have a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as breast and colon cancer. This is likely due to the fact that natural light helps regulate the body's circadian rhythm, which is the internal process that controls the body's sleep-wake cycle. When the body's circadian rhythm is disrupted, it can lead to an increased risk of cancer.
Ways that natural light can help regulate the body's circadian rhythm
- Production of melatonin: Natural light helps regulate the production of melatonin, a hormone that is responsible for controlling the body's sleep-wake cycle. When the body is exposed to natural light during the day, the production of melatonin is suppressed, which helps to keep us awake and alert.
- Production of Vitamin D: Natural light also plays a role in the production of vitamin D, a hormone that is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D helps regulate the immune system, which is important for maintaining overall health and wellbeing.
- Regulation of body temperature: Natural light also helps to regulate the body's temperature, which is an important aspect of the circadian rhythm. The body's temperature naturally drops when it's time to sleep and rises when it's time to wake up.
- Light intensity: The intensity of natural light also plays a role in regulating the body's circadian rhythm. Bright light in the morning helps to reset the body's internal clock, signaling to the body that it's time to wake up.
- Blue light: Natural light also contains blue light, which is important for regulating the circadian rhythm. Blue light helps to suppress the production of melatonin, making us more alert during the day and allowing us to sleep better at night.
Ways in which natural light can also be beneficial for those who are recovering from cancer
- Faster healing time: Studies have shown that patients who are exposed to natural light during their recovery have a faster healing time and a lower risk of complications. This is likely due to the fact that natural light helps regulate the body's circadian rhythm, which can improve the body's ability to heal.
- Improved sleep: Exposure to natural light can help improve the sleep of cancer patients, which is important for recovery. A well-regulated circadian rhythm can lead to better sleep quality, which can lead to a faster recovery.
- Reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety: Cancer patients often suffer from symptoms of depression and anxiety, which can impede their recovery. Natural light has been shown to have a positive impact on mood and can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Increased energy: Cancer treatment can be draining and can leave patients feeling fatigued. Exposure to natural light can help increase energy levels, which can be beneficial for cancer patients who are recovering.
- Improved immune function: Natural light plays a role in the production of vitamin D, which helps regulate the immune system. Cancer treatment can suppress the immune system, so exposure to natural light can help boost the immune system, which can help the body fight off infections.
- Better wound healing: Natural light has been shown to be beneficial for wound healing. It can increase blood flow to the wound, reduce inflammation and promote the growth of new blood vessels.
How can you incorporate more natural light into your life
- Spend more time outdoors.
- Position your working desk and bed near a window.
- Use a light box.
- Open curtains at your home for more incoming sunlight.
- Take a light therapy.
- Use natural light when possible.