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Impact of natural light in your home on mental health

We’ve been warned so much about the link between sun and skin cancer that it’s easy to forget how good the sun (and natural daylight) can be for us too. It helps our body make bone-boosting Vitamin D, for instance, and it also makes us feel happier by triggering the release of the hormone serotonin. 

@AliceParkNY says: “One Australian study that measured levels of brain chemicals flowing directly out of the brain found that people had higher serotonin levels on bright sunny days than on cloudy ones. That effect remained no matter how cold or hot the weather was.”

And it’s not just during the summer and spring that we benefit from the sun’s rays; winter sunshine and daylight can have similar health benefits. 

Being outdoors, in general, is good for our health – provided we’re in the country or an area of the city where there’s plenty of fresh air and little pollution.

The feel-good effects of natural daylight are being taken on board by architects and property designers around the world. Sustainable design is all about using as much light from the sun as possible. That’s not just in terms of heating our homes, but also to make us feel happier living in them, and to be able to access the outdoors – and the sense of it – as much as possible. 

Below we’ve listed more benefits of having as much light as possible by introducing large windows and sliding glass doors into your home. 

6 additional benefits of big windows (and daylight)

Boosts the immune system. The Vitamin D in our bodies created by the sun wakes up our T-cells. These are a type of white blood cell that our immune system needs to help fight off infections created by bacteria and viruses.

Saves money on energy. Place your windows and sliding glass panels in a spot that captures sunlight and you won’t need to spend money lighting and heating that area.

Can help reduce blood pressure. Sunlight alters the amount of Nitric Oxide (NO) in our body. This is a molecule that can reduce blood pressure according to Martin Feelisch, Professor of Experimental Medicine and Integrative Biology at the University of Southampton. The NO is transferred from the skin to the blood circulation, helping blood pressure to fall.

Helps indoor plants grow stronger. Sunlight is a part of the process of photosynthesis – which gives plants the nutrients they need to thrive. Plants are great at detoxifying indoor air. They’re also nice to look at and add colour to the home.

Makes us feel relaxed. Enjoying natural daylight for 30 minutes every morning helps us start the day feeling nice and calm. That’s because daylight improves the communication between the regions of the brain which handle emotions such as stress and anxiety, according to a study from the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark.

Can help with concentration. Artificial light can cause employees to feel sluggish while a few minutes of natural daylight can result in a feeling of alertness. Daylight also results in better sleep, making you feel more alert the next day.

If you’d like to upgrade to more modern, energy-efficient glazing, get in touch today.