Aging is Better in the Sun
We know that our population is aging fast. And we know that we are seeing more articles about impaired cognition than we want to. We, who are a bit older, have to keep from panicking when these articles turn up on a daily basis. But who would have thought that this impaired cognition might come from a most unlikely source: namely, not enough time outside in the sun? Or to put it differently, not getting enough light over 2500 lux during the day?
There is much data now showing that in order to think clearly and improve focus, we need to have a regular circadian rhythm which is signalled through our eyes by light. When we spend most of our time indoors and our eyes become cloudier as we age, it becomes even more essential that we get enough bright light in the morning of our days.
You would think that older people who might be retired, and don’t need to get to work as early in the morning, are in the ideal position to get more bright light and sunshine. But instead, they are more likely to stay indoors, and not get much bright light (over 2500 lux) at all. Soon, their circadian rhythm becomes “free-running”. And they may lose their regular sleep cycle, and report feeling low. This can be easily remedied by regular morning exposure to bright light, as Angela Stringfellow illustrates in her article “Why Seniors Need More Sun: Aging Eyes and Your Health” in SeniorHomes.com.