Soaking in the Light

You probably know that sunlight is powerful, necessary, and good for Vitamin D, but did you know that there are certain parameters in which soaking it in is most helpful to your body?

I’m sure you’ve heard people talk about getting time in the sun, saying they’re going to soak in some Vitamin D. Can you spot the error?

During a few recent classes I took on detox and toxicity, sunlight was often mentioned as a beneficial way to nourish the body. With my movement sometimes being limited, I know I don’t get out in the sun as much as I should. This led me to ask a couple questions:

  • How much sun do I need?
  • What’s the best time of day to soak it in?

As I searched for answers to these questions, more questions were raised in my mind. I realized there’s much I didn’t fully understand. Maybe there is for you, too.

When people say they’re going to soak in some Vitamin D by being out in the sun, they’re, actually, incorrect. The sun ISN’T the SOURCE of Vitamin D! Our bodies, actually, CREATE Vitamin D from “The sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays hit[ting] cholesterol in the skin cells, providing the energy for Vitamin D synthesis to occur.”1 The sun IS, obviously, NECESSARY for PRODUCING Vitamin D; it’s just not the SOURCE of it.

So, How Do We Safely Get the UVB Rays We Need from the Sun?
  • Spend 10-30 minutes OUT IN THE SUN a few days a week (sitting in a car with the windows rolled up, wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt doesn’t count; glass blocks the needed UV rays from reaching your skin). Those of us having light skin may need closer to 10-15 minutes at a time as opposed to our darker skinned friends who may require more time in the sun to get what they need for adequate Vitamin D production. You can still get UV rays on a cloudy day, too, so don’t think that doesn’t count! Clouds covering up to 90% of the sky still allow around 70-90% of UV rays through (unless it’s an overcast day–95+% covered by clouds, which then limits UV ray transmission to around 30%)!
  • Go out in the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s UV rays are stronger and more direct (some sources say as late as 4 p.m., but 10 a.m.-12 p.m. is best for other reasons, as well, like shrinking fat cells). The closer to noon you soak in the rays, the less time is required for your body to produce the necessary Vitamin D for optimum health.
  • Expose your skin as much as possible. Clothes block the sun’s UV rays, which are necessary to produce Vitamin D. In the Spring and Summer, exposing 25-30% of your skin during the above intervals should provide you what you need to absorb adequate UV rays from the sun. A person wearing a tank top and shorts, sitting under a tree in the shade, will, actually, soak up more UV rays for Vitamin D production than a person out in full sun, wearing a long sleeve shirt and jeans!
  • Protect your skin with sunscreen after your 10-30 minutes. If you plan on being out longer, put on 30 proof sunscreen to protect your skin from harm AFTER you’ve absorbed your sufficient amount of UV rays (re-apply every 2-3 hours after that). Why put it on AFTER the 10-30 minutes? “Some studies estimate that sunscreen of SPF 30 or more reduces Vitamin D production in the body by about 95–98%.”1

So, if you have trouble getting all of your Vitamin D requirements for the day from eating foods like salmon, herring, sardines, canned tuna, cod liver oil, beef liver, egg yokes, mushrooms, and other Vitamin D-fortified foods (i.e., cows’ milk, soy milk, orange juice, cereal, oatmeal), taking advantage of the sunshine, as listed above, especially during the summer months, should give your body what it needs to produce the recommended amount of Vitamin D.

Did You Know That Vitamin D is Tied to Strong Bones and Their Ability to Function and Carry the Load Put on Them?

You may think that’s the job of Calcium and Phosphorous, and it is! However, Vitamin D “instructs the cells in our guts to ABSORB Calcium and Phosphorous!”1 You can take a Calcium supplement and think you’re all good, but if your body isn’t getting the right kinds and amounts of Vitamin D, you may, literally, be flushing your Calcium supplement down the toilet.

So, What Happens if You Don’t Get Enough Sun Outside or Consume Enough Vitamin D?

Depression (you know this full well, if you live in colder areas in the winter and can’t get out in the sun much with exposed skin), muscle weakness, osteoporosis, and even cancer have been linked to Vitamin D deficiencies.

Do You Ever Feel Spiritually Deficient?

If you feel that way today, like you’re just not connected to or hearing from the LORD, think about these things:

  • Are you focused on and purposeful in carving out time to bask in His presence?
  • Are you spending sufficient time with Him?
  • Are you giving Him the best of your day or distracted time?
  • Do you come before Him, baring your heart, mind, and soul; or are you covered in shame, busyness, and not wanting to expose your sin (John 3:20)?

Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 ESV

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light”

Ephesians 5:8 NIV

If you have the Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, in you (you’ve accepted Him as the sacrifice and payment for your sins before a holy God), then you are to shine the light of His goodness, Truth, and what He examines and approves to others (Ephesians 5:9); He will use this to reveal the life He gives. Shine on, Liv!

Photo by Kent Pilcher on Unsplash

1 Raman, Ryan. “How to Safely Get Vitamin D From Sunlight.” Healthline, 4 April 2023,

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