From Mildew to Mood: 7 Health and Environmental Benefits of Natural Light

7 Health and Environmental Benefits of Natural LightThere are benefits to natural light beyond the obvious energy savings. From fighting bacteria to increasing your productivity, lighting your home, office, or workplace the natural way has a wide range of positive effects.

In this short guide, we cover the seven biggest health and environmental benefits of natural light for homeowners and business owners. Read on to learn more about the ways natural light can improve your health, your productivity, and your lifestyle.

1. A bacteria-free work environment

The old wives’ trick of pulling back curtains to clean and freshen your bed sheets is more than just wishful thinking. Sunlight can freshen up clothing and sheets during the daytime due to its ability to fight against bacteria.

While light doesn’t penetrate clothing and UV dosage is minimal, the heat from the sun is instrumental in preventing bacteria and mold from developing in your home or office.

2. Increased focus and productivity

Have you ever felt fatigued after a long day at work under artificial lighting? Science agrees with your body – working for long periods of time in artificially lit places isn’t just tiring, it’s massively inefficient.

Swiss scientist Mirjam Münch has found that natural light not only reduced feelings of tiredness during the day – it also makes you more focused, attentive, and likely to produce high quality work during the day.

3. Better and more stable moods

Limited exposure to sunlight has been linked to depression. In countries where the sun largely disappears during winter, a health condition known as seasonal affective disorder takes its toll on peoples’ mood and life outlook.

While most doctors recommend a quick walk in the sun each morning to fight away depression and low motivation, a much better solution is to live and work in a space that’s lit using nothing but natural light.

4. Significantly improved energy levels

Natural light is energizing. Between 1950 and 1995, offices and retail environments often suffered from over-illumination. Artificial lighting was employed at levels that far exceeded normal light exposure, causing people to feel fatigued and tired.

While most retailers and offices have toned down their artificial lighting, exposure to artificial light can still have a negative effect on energy levels. Switch to natural light to enjoy better, more stable energy that lasts all the way into the evening.

5. Deeper, more energizing sleep

Excessive exposure to artificial light, whether from home and office lighting or your computer screen, can have serious negative effects on your sleep patterns. The more time you spend in artificially lit environments, the harder you’ll find it to fall asleep.

Exposure to natural light, however, has the opposite effect. When you spend most of your day in naturally lit environments, your body develops a good circadian rhythm and naturally feels sleepy and alert at the right moments.

6. Improved vision and eye development

Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned that artificial light could be causing a variety of vision-related issues. From computer monitors to office lighting, long-term exposure to artificial light isn’t particularly healthy for your vision.

In contrast, exposure to natural light, as long as it isn’t excessive, is helpful for your eyes. A range of new scientific studies show that natural light assists in the process of eye development and biorhythm maintenance.

7. No more late-afternoon fatigue

Natural light does more than just improve your sleep. Doctors believe that spending time in naturally lit environments keeps your energy levels more stable throughout the day and prevents the dreaded ‘late-afternoon fatigue’ that workers often feel.

From your home to your office, keeping the curtains open and the sun shining in has a significant effect on your late-afternoon energy levels. Avoid fatigue by switching off artificial lighting and instead lighting your home or office with natural sunlight.

“Image courtesy of Fuse/”

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