There’s something about waking up to sunshine streaming through the window that helps a person feel more positive about their day. And new research reveals that there’s scientific evidence linking natural light to everything from positive moods to improved health – even increased metabolism!
Neurologists with Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Sleep Disorder Center teamed with researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to study the effects of natural light on office workers, but their study is relevant to the population as a whole.
What they found was that individuals who work in an office with windows slept an average of 46 minutes more per night than those with no or fewer windows in their workspace. Those who enjoyed natural light also were more physically active than their windowless counterparts, and tended to enjoy a more positive attitude, as well as being more alert.
Neurologist and sleep specialist Dr. Phyllis Zee, who co-authored the research study, stresses the importance of incorporating natural light into one’s daily routine, and states that morning light tends to be the most beneficial.
Zee’s findings suggest that people who spend as little as 20 to 30 minutes in sunlight during the morning hours also enjoy a significantly lower BMI (Body Mass Index), regardless of their age, activity level, caloric intake, sleep timing, or season.
Study co-author Dr. Ivy Cheung added, “Light is the most important synchronizing agent for the brain and body. Proper synchronization… has been shown to be essential for health.”
Part of the reason may be that sunlight helps the body produce Vitamin D. Optimal levels of Vitamin D are essential in preventing many types of cancer, in addition to combating depression, obesity, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Other studies in natural light have revealed that people with less-than-perfect vision often find it easier to observe small details when using natural light, versus artificial light; and patients who are exposed to natural sunlight each day recover more quickly from surgical procedures than those who are not.
Natural light has always been a key feature of every Windsong home. We incorporate a plethora of windows to allow each room to be filled with natural light, and we offer sun tunnels and skylights in interior rooms and closets to increase the natural light in those areas. Private courtyards in every home we build encourage outdoor activity, affording ample opportunity to enjoy the essential early morning sunlight, and the rest of the day as well!
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!