Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.

We're all sun junkies to some extent, and we love seeking its golden rays.

There are biological explanations for our sun obsession. It balances the body due to its antidepressant effects, and Vitamin D promotes changes in our physical activities and habits according to Mirror.

Could sunshine be beneficial for diabetes too?

The hormonal see-saw

The hours of sunlight and darkness work together creating a relationship within the body producing what's known as our circadian rhythm. This fine tuned machine is incredibly important to our health because it serves to maintain our awake and sleep cycles and can have significant impacts on our mood and diabetes control.

-Melatonin is a hormone that controls sleep - I'm sure you've heard of its use as a sleep aid.
-Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in our brain that's linked to wakefulness and good moods.

How do these work in tandem with the sun?

As the sun rises our sleep hormone decreases while our wakefulness transmitter increases; when the sun goes down, our sleep hormone increases and our happy transmitter decreases, according to

The more sun we're exposed to, the higher our happy serotonin levels are. This cyclical process essentially stops us from exploding with joy from high serotonin levels. Certain anti-depressant medications work effectively by increasing these happy levels (such as: Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil).

Sun isn't the answer to everything of course, but the simple act of imagining ourselves on a sunny beach is capable of reaping positive health benefits.

Interestingly enough, a study on postmortem brains found higher levels of serotonin (happy levels) in those who died in the summer versus the winter.

Diabetes and low Vitamin D levels

Our body is responsible for creating levels of Vitamin D from the suns rays. Yes, we do need sunscreen — but it is does throw a wrench into the process.

A large percentage of people with diabetes and other autoimmune diseases suffer from chronically low levels of Vitamin D. By blocking ultraviolet rays with sunscreen 100 percent of the time, those with diabetes face a double whammy. The body simply can't produce enough vitamin D and mood disorders may step in.

The presence of diabetes doubles the odds of also developing depression according to Diabetes Care.

The American Academy of Dermatology has a straightforward message on sunscreen use. Dermatologists would like us to look for dietary sources of Vitamin D rather than a tanning bed or a visit to the beach without sunscreen — which is no surprise considering the skin cancer risk.

Vitamin D can be found in: milk, cheese, yogurt, cereal, oily fish or a Vitamin D supplement. Calcium and Vitamin D are essential to build and maintain strong bones.

The benefits of sunshine for diabetics

-Long summer days promote more activity.
-Warmer weather creates cravings for lighter meals with fresh fruit and veggies.
-Increased activity and lighter meals equal less diabetes medication and lowered insulin resistance.
-As the body moves more and is fed well, blood sugars improve and spirits soar.

To learn more on this topic:
Why You Shouldn't Go to the Health Club
Safety Tips for Exercising Outdoors with Diabetes
Don't Let Diabetes Ruin Your Summer Vacation