Winter is quickly approaching and soon our sun-filled summer will be just a sweet memory. But just because our summer is over, it doesn’t mean we have to suffer from a gloomy winter! If you’re able to increase the amount of natural sunlight that beams into your home, you’ll definitely keep those winter-blahs at bay. If you think natural light in your house doesn’t make a difference?! Think again: here are the unbelievable benefits of adding sunlight to your home! First, let’s take a look at the health benefits of basking in your home’s natural light.
Natural sunlight is good for your health
If you juggle work life with family life and a personal life, you know how hard it is to keep your house clean inside and out! Did you know that having natural lighting in your home reduces the amount of harmful bacteria and organisms that can be lurking in all of the dark corners? It’s true! Sunlight is recognized as a natural disinfectant. The light doesn’t penetrate clothing and UV dosage is minimal, but the heat from the sun that is instrumental in preventing bacteria and mold from developing in your home.
And while it lifts the level of health for your house, it does the same for your body in the following ways:
- Sunlight has natural healing powers
- bone health
- supports the immune system
- protects against dementia and brain aging
- good for loosing excess fat
- essential for decreasing symptoms of asthma
- strengthens teeth
- Sunlight keeps your complexion clear
Sunbathing in moderation can be healing for the skin, although we need to be cautious of damaging UV rays. People who traditionally live in tropical climates and adapt to having firmer, stronger, smoother skin, with a complexion usually free of blemishes, pimples and rashes. Sunlight has a beneficial effect on skin disorders, such as psoriasis, acne, eczema and fungal infections of the skin.
Sunlight suppresses your appetite:
Sunlight suppresses your hunger in two ways: 1. by stimulating melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) production into the pituitary gland; and 2. by stimulating serotonin production and suppressing melatonin production into the pineal gland. It sounds very scientific, but it’s true!
Sunlight improves your circulation:
Sunlight improves blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels in your skin, thus bringing more nutrients and oxygen to your blood cells, red and white. It also keeps the heart healthy by lowering the heart rate and reduces blood pressure.
Sunlight boosts your immune system:
Sunlight encourages the production of white blood cells, which increase with sun exposure, and play a major role in defending the body against infections.
Sunlight helps to balance your body’s hormones:
Sunlight boosts your levels of serotonin – your body’s natural happy hormone! Which is why we feel happier and full of energy when the sun is shining! It’s been shown that exercising outdoors creates more endorphins in the body than exercising indoors – all thanks to the sun!
But wait, there’s more!
Sunlight improves your mood
Research has proven that our levels of serotonin, that vital neurotransmitter in charge of memory, mood, appetite and sleep, decrease in winter. They realized that the one factor that affected their participant’s moods was the amount of sun exposure they had. More sunlight resulted in better moods, while less sunlight lead to symptoms of depression. This kind of depression that stems from a lack of natural light is also referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD or the winter blues – is a depression specifically caused by lack of sunlight), and it’s a very real problem that we all need to be aware of.
Sunlight fights disease
With the rise of skin cancers, the sun is often seen as a villain. But many studies have discovered that vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin” is an excellent protection against colon, kidney, and breast cancer. On top of its cancer-fighting-attributes, adequate vitamin D intake is important for
- the regulation of calcium absorption
- phosphorus absorption
- maintenance of healthy bones and teeth
Vitamin D also has a protective effect against other diseases and conditions such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Simply by increasing your exposure to sunlight, you can control your risk of getting these diseases. All good things in moderation though! Sensible sun exposure on bare skin is 5-10 minutes. And you just need to do it 2-3 times per week to produce enough vitamin D. While this may sound easy, up to 50% of adults and children are still vitamin D deficient.
Sunlight helps you sleep
The circadian system is made up of the biological processes that regulate our sleep–wake cycle make up our circadian system. Through our neuro-hormone melatonin, our circadian system regulates our patterns of alertness and sleepiness.
As humans, we need exposure to natural light to keep this cycle in check as an imbalanced sleep–wake cycle can cause us to make mistakes at work, can change our moods for the worse, and can lead to major accidents while commuting. If you don’t get enough light in your life, you can actually develop sleep disorders. But this can be easily fixed! You just need exposure to bright light at the right time of day to avoid circadian cycle problems. Natural light has the ability to synchronize the brain and the body. And if you get enough light in the day, you’ll sleep like a baby at night, which will help improve your health, your work, and your personal life! Your home may not be a workplace but it is probably a place that could benefit from energy, a positive attitude and productivity.
The health benefits of having natural light in your home are pretty impressive. But what other kinds of benefits are there?
Natural lighting is a gift from Mother Nature. It reduces the burning of fossil fuels and the generation of electricity, and therefore it’s a benefit to the environment. Natural sunlight reduces the emission of terrible chemicals like sulfur dioxide, carbon and mercury into the environment. By increasing your home’s exposure to the sun you’re also creating a healthier, and more ecologically and economically sustainable home. Nice!
Natural Light Saves You Money
For years scientists have been touting the health benefits of daylight, but what about the financial benefits?! Utilizing natural light can lead to substantial energy savings, which means more money for you to put towards that beach vacation! With so many ways to enhance the amount of sunlight getting into your home, you’ve got choices! And implementing some changes will result in the reduction of your utility bills. Stop wasting your money by flicking the switch, and invest in getting natural light in your home. But how?!
Steps You Can Take To Increase Natural Light in Your Home
If you’re committed to increasing the natural light in your home there are many actions you can take to start enjoying and benefiting from more natural sunlight.
- Open curtains and shades during the day
- Don’t block windows with furniture
- Paint your window trim white
- Use a light color palette when painting your home
- Add thermal windows
- Invest in solar panels for your roof
And if you’re really serious about getting more sunlight then you should think about using popular tubular skylights.
These skylights can fill you house with healthy natural light as they operate completely on solar energy. There are no complicated remote controls, switches or wiring, just pure, free sunlight. It’s easy: the dome captures sunlight on the roof during the day, and then the sunlight travels through the mirror-like tube until it enters your home. It even works on cloudy days!