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Why natural light is so important for your health & wellbeing
When you think of “office perks” what comes to mind? Pet days, a standing desk, or maybe even a coffee machine? However, when Future Workplace conducted a survey with 1,614 employees, they found that views of the outdoors and natural light were ranked as the top attribute in the workplace.
It’s easy to see why natural light was ranked number one. Sunlight really does have the power to help improve your health and wellbeing, especially in winter.
Here are a few reasons why natural light will help to brighten your day!
Sunlight will improve your Physical Health
It is difficult to get Vitamin D from diet so exposure to sunlight will help boost your dose of Vitamin D which in return, encourages your body to produce more. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for our bodies which provides a number of important benefits.
You will sleep better
Firstly, Vitamin D helps you sleep better, and you will wake up feeling refreshed in the mornings. This is because the body takes in information from the world and associates sunlight with what time of day it is to help regulate the body’s clock.
You will build stronger bones
Vitamin D improves the absorption of calcium in the body which will help you build stronger bones. It may even help to prevent any breaks or sprains that may occur, especially when we get older.
Sunlight will improve your mental health
For some, the change of seasons can bring on the “winter blues” or other serious depressive disorders like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This affects people differently and the effects can range from mild to debilitating and will even prevent people from functioning normally or continuing with their day to day routine.
As we approach the winter months, the days become shorter, and the temperatures are cooler. The amount of sunlight that hits the earth also decreases which can cause behavioural changes in animals and in people. This is why some animals will migrate or hibernate.
As for people, less sunshine leads to lower levels of serotonin, a natural chemical that our brain releases to make us feel happy. An extreme loss of serotonin will affect mood and may even cause depression.
Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:
- Tiredness and low energy
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Appetite changes
- Feelings of hopelessness
It’s normal to feel down some days but if you are experiencing any of these symptoms for days at a time, it’s important to seek help from your doctor. There are also coping mechanisms that you can introduce into your daily life that may be able to help ease the symptoms of SAD:
This is where you sit by a light box which emits a strong light mimicking natural sunlight. It is meant to help stimulate your circadian rhythm which is responsible for your sleep and wake patterns. Regular light at normal times will also help boost your mood.
If your home is particularly dark in winter and you notice it does affect your mood, consider installing a skylight. Installing a Solatube Skylight will flood your room with 99.7% daylight while eliminating harmful UV rays. Even on an overcast winter’s day, Solatube domes will capture low angle light and will fill your room with natural light.
When you bring natural light into your home and office, you will notice the difference! Your brain’s serotonin levels will increase, and you will feel focused and productive. A skylight will introduce light into your home all year round and you will begin to feel happier both physically and mentally.
When it comes to winter, it’s important to look after your health and wellbeing. If you’re experiencing light loss in your home or office, try different ways to incorporate natural light like installing a Solatube skylight. Contact Solatube today for a free quote.
The Future Workplace survey can be found here.