Too many of us find ourselves stuck in windowless rooms under fluorescent lights for many hours of the day - whether this is the situation at work or at school, being cooped up in a room with no natural light can leave us feeling somewhat depressed disoriented.
This comes as no surprise, as top researchers have concluded that there is distinct relationship between daylight exposure and individual’s sleep, activity and quality of life. Vitamin D is an essential to a happy and healthy life, so in the spirit of sunshine, we have come up with a list of the health harbouring benefits of natural light.
1. Natural Light Leads To Higher Productivity
A study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology has concluded that those who work under natural light have recorded higher levels of energy than their counterparts who work or study under artificial or fluorescent alternatives. It has also been shown that in retail stores, 40 percent higher sales have been noted at checkout counters that are located beneath skylights. Keen on increasing your productivity? A great way to incorporate natural light into your office or home is by installing Velux Skylights which can be installed in your home or office in accordance to your needs, preferences and interior design choices.
2. Boost That Vitamin D Storage!
Vitamin D is essential in order to maintain healthy bone growth and calcium absorption. Furthermore, Vitamin D has been known to prevent various form of cancers, depression, weight gain and heart disease. Unfortunately, a number of us do not get the recommended amount of Vitamin D that we require due to our office jobs that keep us indoors everyday. In order to combat this and stay healthy, it is advisable that everyone take a 20-30 minute walk under the sunshine everyday, whether that may be during your lunch break or on the way home from work.
3. Natural Light Benefits Vision
In today’s world, most of us stare at computer screens and mobile phones for far too long.
The fluorescent lights emitted from these devices can cause eye strain which can lead to permanent eye damage in the future. Yikes!
Natural light has been known to lower the risk of Myopia, in children and young adults by promoting the development of Dopamine in the body, a feel-good chemical that assists in healthy eye development.
4. Guarantee Yourself A Good Night’s Sleep
Research has shown that the amount of sunlight one receives during the daytime can directly have an impact on how much sleep you get at night. Exposure to direct sunlight, especially in the early mornings for a minimum of 30 minutes helps to produce the most benefit for a fantastic night’s sleep.
On the flipside, it has been shown that artificial light has no positive benefits when it comes to promoting better sleep. In fact, artificial light before bed (from phones and computers) and at night can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure due to the negative impacts they have on the quality of sleep you get.
5. Feeling A Bit Moody?
Have you ever heard of a certain type of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder? This is a depression that affects many people during the Winter time when they do not receive enough sunlight. Scientists believe that Serotonin, also known as the “happy” hormone, increases in Summer when the nights are short and days are long. Many psychiatrists recommend that people get out and expose themselves to sunlight for at least 30 minutes a day to help prevent or even aid in treating depression.
6. Keep Your Circadian Rhythm Healthy
The Circadian Rhythm refers to a mental, biological and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle which responds to darkness and light within one’s environment. Circadian rhythms are found in almost every living creature - microbes, animals, plants, and of course, us human beings. Circadian rhythms are naturally produced by factors within the body, but are mostly influenced by signals received from the environment.
As you guessed, light is the main cue which influences circadian rhythms.
Exposure to natural light turns the genes that control our internal body clocks and dictate sleep-wake cycles, body temperature, hormone release and other key bodily functions. If that’s not enough reason to get some natural light into your life, we don’t know what is!
We hope that this article has brought some light - no pun intended - as to why natural light is truly essential for a happy and healthy life. So what are you waiting for? Get out of the office and take that walk that your body so deserves!