Rooflight specialists Duplus collaborated with nine experts to discuss the varied benefits of natural light, including the topics of mental health, productivity, sleep, and skincare, as well as the energy efficiency aspects and interior styling tips.
Here are 8 of the key benefits:
- Increased exposure to vitamin D – impacts blood brain function, including mood and cognition
- Increased production of serotonin
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk for mood disorders – including depression, seasonal affective disorder and severe mood problems experienced during PMS, insomnia, and anxiety – and low levels of serotonin have also been linked to anxiety and depression.
- Increased production of melatonin – helps regulates our circadian rhythm
Anywhere between 30–45 minutes of direct natural light a day should help improve the state of sleep you have. Aim to keep all of your light exposure from the moment you want to wake up, to around 2 hours before you want to go to sleep… Wind down and turn off any mobile devices before bed, and as a general rule, it is best to sleep in as much darkness as possible (pitch darkness reduces potential distractions and disruptions to sleep).
- Increased focus and engagement with work tasks
- More likely to work a full schedule
- Happier to collaborate with other team members
People who are exposed to more natural light tend to feel more engaged, are more likely to work a full schedule, and are generally happier as they go about their work. This means that they will likely stay focused on the tasks for longer and are happier to collaborate with other team members, and this increase in engagement and collaboration tends to result in more productivity and success.
If you can factor the deepest or most important work you have to do into the lightest hours, you’ll be as productive as possible. If your light levels are low or you are sitting in a small study without good natural light then make sure you take regular breaks to look out of the window, take a walk or get fresh air then you can approach your work tasks afresh each time.
- Increased exposure to vitamin D – impacts skin cell growth and destroys free radicals (which can cause premature ageing)
However, excessive exposure to sunlight can lead to sunburn, can cause skin becomes less elastic, cause wrinkles and fine lines, and raises risk of skin cancer. To protect your skin against these dangers, whilst still reaping the vitamin D benefits, always wear SPF (everyday – the clouds don’t stop the UV rays), remember to reapply SPF throughout the day, wear sunglasses, and limit your time in direct sunlight (take a break and sit in the shade).
- Save money on energy bills – by reducing the need to use light fixtures around your home
In particular, north-facing and south-facing windows are the most effective for this – north-facing windows let in an even amount of light without glare, whereas south-facing windows are great for moderating seasonal temperatures – but this also works for rooflights (particularly in the middle of the day when the sun is higher).
When it came to the interior styling tips, the experts suggested decorating with mirrors, considering the layout of your furniture, opting for a lighter colour palette, installing larger windows and doors (or bi-fold doors and rooflights), and checking the exterior for potential horticultural obstructions.
Gavin Helgeson, Rooflight Division Manager from Duplus, commented: We have seen an increased number of visitors – from new build enquiries to property renovators – looking to improve the lighting and space in their homes. Installing rooflights is an effective way to bring in more daylight, and they also extend your view to the sky, so you get a space that feels both more spacious and brighter. They are also great for installing with a loft conversion to add a lot of natural light to your new room.’
Psychreg is mainly for information purposes only; materials on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Don’t disregard professional advice or delay in seeking treatment because of what you have read on this website. Read our full disclaimer.