EXPLAINER

Natural light & our health: Facts and tips

Image credits: Unsplash
As we are going through the winter, which is the darkest time, let's turn to the questions of light and look at how lighting may affect the way we feel ourselves.
Light-dark patterns are critical for circadian alignment as the primary environmental factor for the inner biological clock. Circadian alignment refers to the physical, mental and behavioural changes the body experiences over a roughly 24-hour period. So light-dark patterns are ultimately fundamental for our state of health, including sleep and mental health.

Although daylight provides the right qualities of light for stimulating circadian alignment, our modern lifestyles offer not so many opportunities for enough daylight exposure.

And that needs our attention as thanks to the daylight exposure and well-working circadian alignment:

  • Our mental health gets better.
  • We have a better sleep quality.
  • We become more energetic, focused and productive.
Even 13-15 mins of exposure to natural light can be enough to boost the release of endorphins.

So we can stick to some rules to help ourselves in feeling better:
1. Make sure to open the curtains every morning.
That's how you wouldn't prevent yourself from getting the minimum daylight level available in your circumstances.
2. Chose a place next to the window for work if it is possible.
Or keep in mind that offices with windows are already better than offices without them.
3. Go outside through the day to get some light.
The best option that works immediately. Especially combined with physical activity like walking to provide the increased amount of endorphins.
But what if we still can't get enough light? Maybe we live in a sunless region or have fewer opportunities to go outside throughout the day.
The good news is we can use artificial light imitating natural light-dark patterns and benefit from that as well!
So stock up with the brightest lightbulbs and try using a natural light alarm clock. Give them some time to show you the effect and enjoy the results!

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