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Why Natural Light Can Help Your Sleep, Overall Health & Immune System

15 February 2021 | Knowledge Hub
Circadian Rhythm

Why natural light can help your sleep, overall health & immune system.

When you’re considering a loft conversion did it even cross your mind that as well as adding value to your home that it could well improve your health too? We guessed not…

In this blog we’re going to explain why it’s good for your health to maximise the light from both sunrise and sunset in your home every day and how to make the most of natural light with some easy tips. 

First  the geeky science part:

Circadian Rhythm, very simply, is how our body behaves in a 24-hour cycle; especially how we respond to light and dark. Our eyes can detect light at the back of the retina which sends a signal to our brain telling it the time, switching chemicals on and off helping our bodies prepare for sleep, feel hungry at the right times, heal and switch off things like digestion and insulin production.

If we tinker with these rhythms by living in dark rooms in the day and with artificial light in the evening, our body can become confused about what it’s doing. In Layman’s terms, light literally dictates what our body does, and when.

Over the past 100 years, as modern society has demanded more from us, we have adapted our homes and the way we live, but our bodies haven’t adjusted as quickly. Our houses are filled with constant dull light in the daytime (especially during lockdown) and unnatural blue light in the evenings (lightbulbs, LED TV screens and having our faces stuck in a mobile phone!) resulting in us feeling constantly tired.

Having natural light through our windows and naturally experiencing sunrise and sunset helps our body to switch our hormones and chemicals on and off correctly. 

For example, if you watch the sunset and then don’t use artificial light or your phone after 9pm you are more likely to fall asleep easier and experience a better night’s sleep - plus you’ll be hungry when you wake up! That’s because the UV rays at night tell your body to switch on melatonin production (sleep hormone) around 9pm for you to relax and sleep. It also helps you heal as your body knows its repair time. 

The same thing goes in the morning, natural sunlight wakes up the body and switches on your metabolism, your insulin levels and your thyroid.

Can you take the two week challenge?

Every day for two weeks, challenge yourself - don’t look at your phone/tv or use artificial blue lights after 9pm (consider a UV red bulb or a candle to read a book with).

If you are lucky enough to have a dual aspect window where you can watch the sunrise and sunset every day, you could even try it the old-fashioned way by watching sunrise and sunset outside (or open your window).

See how different you feel and if it has a positive impact on your life. 

We’d love to hear from you so use #RW4YSleepChallenge on your social posts to let us know how you get on and for a repost.

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