Egypt, Peru, Greece, Japan, Mexico—almost every ancient civilization worshiped the sun in some shape or form. Even before advanced science and technology, humans recognized the sun’s significance.
The significance lies in a crucial pattern known as the sleep-wake cycle (also known as the circadian rhythm). This cycle—which relies heavily on the sun—goes something like this: The sun’s morning light suppresses melatonin and wakes us up. In contrast, darkness stimulates the production of melatonin, making us sleepy (1).
But the sun doesn’t just play a role in getting a good night’s rest.
It also contributes to the body’s production of vitamin D, popularly dubbed the “sunshine vitamin.” So, how does this process work? And how much sun exposure should you be getting each day? Let’s shine a light on the sun’s incredible power to boost vitamin D.