4 Effects of Sunlight You Didn’t Expect

On those perfect days without a cloud in the sky, many of us step outside to enjoy the warmth of the sun. No matter what the season, the sun can provide us with a much-needed sense of renewal and rebirth. What you may not realize, however, is that the effects of sunlight go far beyond a mood boost.

Vitamin D is key to our bone health, and the sun can provide us with a healthy dose of this essential vitamin. The National Health Service states that without adequate amounts of vitamin D in our system, the strength of our bones and teeth can deteriorate. Many people are well aware of the vitamin D benefits sunlight has to offer, but what’s less known is that sunlight can also have an impact on our love life, decision-making, and even the stock market. Here’s what sunny days have to offer.

People Are More Receptive to First Dates

As it turns out, the sun may have an effect on dating behaviors. A 2013 French study published in the scientific journal Social Influence found that overall, young women were more open to flirtatious behavior on days when the sun was out. Specifically, it was found that on sunny days, women in the study were 8.5% more likely to provide their phone number when approached by a 20-year-old man on the street asking if he could give them a call. Meanwhile, the rate at which the man received phone numbers on overcast days decreased. When mustering up the courage to ask someone out on a date, it’s comforting to know that the sun is on your side!

You’re More Likely to Take Risks

 When it comes to decision-making, people experience a more carefree attitude on sunshiny days. According to a 2018 study conducted by McGill University researchers, it was determined that city-dwellers were more inclined to take a chance on luck during the first sunny day after a stretch of bad weather. As a result, citizens who were feeling lucky were more likely to purchase a lottery ticket on these days due to the positive impact the sunlight had on their mood.

Investments in the Stock Market increase

Just as sunlight influences the general public’s buying of lotto tickets, the mood-enhancing effects of sunlight seem to also influence the business world — specifically stock buying behavior. Research conducted by Case Western Reserve University found that cloudier days led to negative feelings of stocks being “overpriced.” As a result of this state of mind, institutional investors were more likely to sell their stock on gray days. Conversely, on sunny days, a feeling of optimism led to more stock purchases by investors representing large companies.

Related: “Grounding: How To Lift Your Mood In the Simplest Way”

Sunshine Helps Clean Your Home

Spring cleaning — or cleaning any time of year — can be tedious. Getting to all those hard-to-reach places can require a great deal of labor. Thankfully, the sun may be able to lend a helping hand. A 2018 study published in Microbiome shows that allowing sunlight to flood your home can kill bacteria found in dust. Researchers determined that the prevalence of bacteria in darker rooms was nearly double that of bacteria measured in rooms with regular sunlight exposure through windows. Much of the bacteria examined were those related to the development of breathing problems. By opening the curtains, not only do we keep our house cleaner, but we enhance the quality of the air we breathe — benefitting both our mental and physical health.

It seems that sunshine has a lot more to offer than just a pleasant day out. While essential to our survival, sunlight may also have the potential to enhance our overall quality of life and general happiness.

-Erin Marie

Photo by Ainsley Myles on Unsplash









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Originally from Connecticut, Erin McCluskey is a freelance writer, actor, and filmmaker living in New Orleans, Louisiana. Erin graduated from Tulane University in 2013 with a double major in Psychology and Theater Performance. Her educational background in psychology has enabled her to work within the mental health field specializing in emotional and mental wellness through crisis support and coping skills development. When she’s not working, Erin enjoys creating her own original sketch comedy pieces and seeking out all the best cheese boards the city has to offer.

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