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The sun makes things better

Jo86

Senior Member
Messages
197
Location
France
Does anyone on here have this ?
Strangely enough, being outdoor in the sun gives me a slightly clearer mind and helps me speak better (less slurred speech, more focus). It's like my brain gets a bit better concentration from it. It makes me a tad closer to my normal self.

I don't know how much of this is psychological: the feeling of being outside and the freedom of it (with maybe, a bit of help from the ambient background noise) versus being locked up in some room with someone, all quiet, which takes up more brain power and focus. HOWEVER, I'd feel the benefit even indoor as long as there was a huge window with loads of sun right all over me. So not sure about the outdoor part.

(ofc after a while, the sun eventually makes me too cozy and a tad sleepier).

But I'd like to know on a biochemical/biological level, why that might be, that the sun makes me feel more natural (better cognitive functioning).
 

BrightCandle

Senior Member
Messages
1,175
I have big issues with UV, my skin goes prickly really quickly and I burn super fast compared to before. The melanin in my skin just isn't working like it used to before ME/CFS. However I find the IR of mornings and late afternoons useful since we talked about it and gradually as its getting warmer this is something I am doing more of. I sit with my tablet in the sun for a few hours and I do feel a little better for it even though the activities I am doing at the time should be tiring me I get the opposite sensation. Still its not much and it fades fast. Interesting that it works at all.
 

kjetilv

kjetil
Messages
61
Location
Norway
I feel better when I’m outside in the sun atleast 3 hours a day, preferably by the sea. Not a huge difference, I’d say 5-10% symptom reduction. While outside, I just lay down. Don’t have any energy for doing anything. Unfortunately I live in Norway, so I haven’t been getting much sun for the past 5 months… My symptoms are always more severe during winter.
 

Jo86

Senior Member
Messages
197
Location
France
I feel better when I’m outside in the sun atleast 3 hours a day, preferably by the sea. Not a huge difference, I’d say 5-10% symptom reduction. While outside, I just lay down. Don’t have any energy for doing anything. Unfortunately I live in Norway, so I haven’t been getting much sun for the past 5 months… My symptoms are always more severe during winter.
Yeah. To me it's like an activation of the brain. Not a massive difference, but a notable one. It's like: inside I've got "the flu", brain's heavy and slow as hell, it's hard to move my lips and I'm pushing hard to get anything done... outside with the sun, the flu's lifted a bit, almost like the sunlight's "penetrating" my brain and getting rid of the fog a little. I'm quite sure it helps with physical performance as well, not just mental.

And there's also the psychological facet: you're outside, it feels healthier, more free, there's less focus on you and you feel like you're part of a whole, you at least feel a small energy boost and it's like having a motivational coach there.

Surely part of this is due to the sun's increase of serotonin (which would help in the "better focusing" action of the sun).
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
4,993
I think some people react very well to being in the sun....outside is of course also highly desirable.

@Howard has plenty of experience with being and needing outside exposure to the sun. His new wheelchair helps with that.

Personally, I sit on our porch in the shade (very fair and form skin cancers too easily, even with a sunblock). Still, being outside itself is a treat....we tend to live out there during 9 mos. or more of the year. My husband is dark-skinned and loves the sun and heat.

@kjetliv.....would a light box help you? It has been good for many people. Also eating a lot of oily fish, although I guess you already do if you live in Norway. I'd have fish every day if I could.

Yours, Lenora
 

Johannes

Senior Member
Messages
331
My question for you, that feel better in sunshine is, for how many days and months have you had a chance to be almost continuously sunbathing? I have done it starting around April until mid September. I feel the best around at the end of June untill the end of August after having been three months in sunshine with UV index of minimum 3. UV index drops below 3 at the end of August where I live. In June UV index is at its peak being normally between only 5 and 6. Below 3 my condition is worsening. 3 happends to be the limit of vitamin D production of our skin too.

But it is not only the UV index. Sunshine seem to slow down my symtoms coming back even if the UV index is between 2 and 3. During July and August I spent a lot of time in our boat where we live summertime, spending some three to eight hours a day in sunshine. The sea almost doubles the amount of radiation of the sun. Three hours per day seem to be enough if I get my sunshine atleast once in three days and if the uv index is minimum 3.
 
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Jo86

Senior Member
Messages
197
Location
France
My question for you, that feel better in sunshine is, for how many days and months have you had a chance to be almost continuously sunbathing?

For me it's most of the year. Even now in Feb in Southeast France, it feels like a crappy day if there's no sun, we actually have the audacity to complain when the sun's sulking behind the clouds.

But the interesting bit is: despite all this sun that I can take advantage of, there still isn't any build on the long term towards feeling better. It's just on the spot, in the present moment of being in the sun from 12-3pm, and then it's over and the next day comes with its own new challenges.


Here's a bit of relevant biochemistry to help explain the beneficial action of the sun (direct quotes from several ncbi/nih articles):

1,25(OH)D. This form of the vitamin D is actually a hormone, chemically akin to the steroid hormones.

The hormone increases calcium and phosphate plasma concentrations in part by stimulation of intestinal absorption and renal reabsorption of calcium and phosphate. It is primarily, but not exclusively, produced in the kidney.

25(OH)2D3 has powerful effects apparently unrelated to mineral metabolism, including anti-inflammatory actions and modification of multiple brain functions. Excessive 1,25(OH)2D3 formation in klotho-deficient NH4Cl-treated mice leads to an amazing surge of exploratory behavior, lack of anxiety and decreased depression, effects dissipated by low vitamin D diet. Conversely, vitamin D deficient mice display reduced explorative behavior, enhanced anxiety, aberrant grooming, submissive social behavior, social neglect and maternal cannibalism. 1,25(OH)2D3 is generated in human brain, and acts on diverse structures including prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, thalamus, hypothalamus, and substantia nigra. In neurons 1,25(OH)2D3 suppresses oxidative stress, inhibits inflammation, provides neuroprotection, down-regulates a variety of inflammatory mediators and up-regulates a wide variety of neurotrophins.
 

kjetilv

kjetil
Messages
61
Location
Norway
I think some people react very well to being in the sun....outside is of course also highly desirable.

@Howard has plenty of experience with being and needing outside exposure to the sun. His new wheelchair helps with that.

Personally, I sit on our porch in the shade (very fair and form skin cancers too easily, even with a sunblock). Still, being outside itself is a treat....we tend to live out there during 9 mos. or more of the year. My husband is dark-skinned and loves the sun and heat.

@kjetliv.....would a light box help you? It has been good for many people. Also eating a lot of oily fish, although I guess you already do if you live in Norway. I'd have fish every day if I could.

Yours, Lenora

Hi @lenora . I tried a light box a few years ago. Way too bright for me, almost crashed from using it. Sun is better, I can cover my eyes if it’s too much, and still get benefits as other parts of my body gets sun. Regarding fish, I should eat more. I eat it about once a week. Not enough. It’s quite expensive, but so is all healthy food where I live…
 

kjetilv

kjetil
Messages
61
Location
Norway
My question for you, that feel better in sunshine is, for how many days and months have you had a chance to be almost continuously sunbathing? I have done it starting around April until mid September. I feel the best around at the end of June untill the end of August after having been three months in sunshine with UV index of minimum 3. UV index drops below 3 at the end of August where I live. In June UV index is at its peak being normally between only 5 and 6. Below 3 my condition is worsening. 3 happends to be the limit of vitamin D production of our skin too.

But it is not only the UV index. Sunshine seem to slow down my symtoms coming back even if the UV index is between 2 and 3. During July and August I spent a lot of time in our boat where we live summertime, spending some three to eight hours a day in sunshine. The sea almost doubles the amount of radiation of the sun. Three hours per day seem to be enough if I get my sunshine atleast once in three days and if the uv index is minimum 3.

I read the thread you started, and thanks to that thread I tried sun out for myself, starting in June. Started to feel benefits fairly quick. One day I was feeling very bad, I was unsure if I should go outside. Decided to do so, laid down in the sun for a few hours, and felt quite a bit better. It was almost like magic.

I was sunbathing almost every day (except for when it rained or if I was in a bad crash, then I stayed inside) from June to mid September. Those were the best months I’ve had since coming down w ME/CFS in late 2017. Like I said, 5-10% symptom reduction. Very noticeable. Effects quickly wore off when I couldn’t be outside as much (mid September) due to the weather in Norway, and this winter has been really horrible in terms of symptoms. Seems like the effects of the sunlight wore off when I couldn’t keep at it :( Looking forward to summer again though!
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
4,993
@SNTGatchaman. Thanks for the video. I have a question, can a light home have some input similar to the light outdoors? I'm older now (going on 76) and have been through most of these problems. I cannot, however, tolerate direct sunlight. It literally makes me ill and always has. Still, I try to expose myself to as much light as possible and our home lets me....as does our porch.

It's in the shade, but of course there is light all around.

About light....there are people who benefit highly from direct sunlight and those of us who can't tolerate it. What can we do? Yours, Lenora
 
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Johannes

Senior Member
Messages
331
Thank you @kjetilv for telling this. I am now in Spain and UV index here was 4 at its peak yesterday. Almost burned my neck. I have been two days in sunhine (3 hours a day) but am still waiting for the more positive effects. I am tired after walking with the dog 2 to 3 times a day approximately 2km per day. I assume I will see the effects in two weeks, if there is enough sunshine.
 

datadragon

Senior Member
Messages
404
Location
USA
I cannot, however, tolerate direct sunlight. It literally makes me ill and always has. Still, I try to expose myself to as much light as possible and our home lets me....as does our porch.

It's in the shade, but of course there is light all around.

About light....there are people who benefit highly from direct sunlight and those of us who can't tolerate it. What can we do? Yours, Lenora

When you are exposed to heat, the body will try to cool down through various mechanisms (ie sweating). Research shows that decreasing basal body temperature (cooling-off) in response to hot environment is associated with a reduction in orexins, as well as PGE2 and COX-2 (all three molecules are key thermoregulatory molecules) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23523649/

This means that someone with orexin deficiency may experience problems adapting to heat, and when he does, the shortage of this neurotransmitter is further aggravated, leading to typical symptoms of orexin deficiency also including excessive sweating.

 

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
Messages
13,467
Still, being outside itself is a treat....

the breeze, on our skin. It's something when I am outside, it's this remarkably lovely thing.

The breeze.
leading to typical symptoms of orexin deficiency

these info on Orexin is fascinating.

Research shows that decreasing basal body temperature (cooling-off) in response to hot environment is associated with a reduction in orexins

I seem to run at a lower temperature most of the time: 97.1 the other day at the doctors office.

It's getting hotter here, and I am not very heat tolerant. And the rest of the time, I'm often cold when everybody else is hot.
 

hapl808

Senior Member
Messages
2,226
This means that someone with orexin deficiency may experience problems adapting to heat, and when he does, the shortage of this neurotransmitter is further aggravated, leading to typical symptoms of orexin deficiency also including excessive sweating.

Interesting - I don't sweat much, but exposure to heat affects me quite poorly. It did so even when I was more mild; I constantly seemed to get heat exhaustion in hotter climates.

I seem to run at a lower temperature most of the time: 97.1 the other day at the doctors office.

Same.
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
4,993
Hi @hapl808 .......I live in TX and have never liked the heat even when growing up in PA.

Oddly enough, the cold affects me the same way. I'm never "just right." I just dress, dress and dress some more. That way I can take things off and put them back on. Not that I go anywhere now anyway.

Interestingl enough, I'm find this summer's heat more tolerable than in the past. If one lives long enough......! Yours, Lenora
 
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