6 Benefits of Sunlight in Your Home
6 Benefits of Sunlight in Your Home
by Aleksandre McMenamin
In most cases, people typically want to separate the inside of their home’s from the abundance of nature that is outdoors. However, when it comes to lighting the inside of your home, that may not be the best way to approach it. Turns out, we still haven’t found a method of lighting that works better than that good ol’ fashioned sun in the sky. Using windows, skylights, and sunroofs to light the inside of your home can actually yield tremendous benefits! Here’s a handful of reasons why that is…
1. Health benefits
Surprisingly, due to the amount of information that we hear about skin cancer and melanoma, there are more people on this planet that suffer from a lack of UVR exposure (Ultraviolet Radiation) than there are people who get too much. Being in sunlight more often can actually decrease the risk of sun cancer by offering moderate amounts of UVR exposure. Lack of UVR exposure can also cause your bones to become softer and weaker, thus increasing their risk of breaking. It also is important to receive UVR exposure to prevent the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.
2. Energy savings
Obviously, keeping an abundance of lights on in the interior of your home is going to add to your electricity bill every month, on top of the added costs of light bulbs and new wiring that will be needed over time. However, if you design your home to let in enough sunlight, there is practically very little reason why any lights need to be turned on in your home during the daylight hours. For this reason, higher quantities of higher quality windows are greatly desired, since they can allow sunlight to flow throughout your home, bringing sunlight to many areas that would otherwise be left in darkness.
3. Mood benefits
Similarly to photosynthesis in plants, sunlight is able to increase the amount of energy that we have. It accomplishes this by causing our body to increase its production of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone in the body that has a positive effect on your mood. It increases your brain’s propensity for social interaction, positive activity, healthy appetite, faster digestion (thus helping you lose weight), stronger memory, and even strong feelings of sexual desire (I guess that explains the phrase “afternoon delight”).
4. Vitamin D
One of the most substantial ways that we get our daily supply of vitamin D is from exposure to sunlight. This is important due to the fact that nearly every bit of tissue in your body requires Vitamin D to function. Vitamin D is a valuable nutrient in that it heavily increases the effectiveness of your immune system, thus protecting you from invasive diseases and viruses. Vitamin D also is crucial to a sharp mind, as having more of it will increase brain activity and general alertness. Vitamin D even increases your metabolism, making your digestive process healthier and more effective, and helping you lose weight!
You may not have known this, because it’s not very obvious, but nothing brightens up a room like sunlight! Seriously though, sunlight has a very pleasing effect on the aesthetics of a home’s interior. It has a natural feel that will make residents and guests feel cozier and more welcome. Sunlight also works as a powerful stimulant to the human visual system, physiologically, because sunlight activates more optic reactors in the human eye than artificial light.
Strictly democratically, studies have shown that 88% of occupants prefer the look and feel of natural light compared to electric lighting. If you’re worried about the level of control that sunlight will provide you in your interior decorating journey, remember that there are many ways to shape and control sunlight as it enters your home, such as plantation shutters. For more information on tools you can use to shape the light in your home, check out this nifty little blog post here.
6. Helps you sleep better
At the end of a long, hard day, your ability to sleep comfortably may be tied to the amount of sunlight that you’ve been exposed to throughout the day. This is because sunlight alerts your body that it needs to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that makes you drowsy and tired, pretty much the opposite of serotonin. This makes you more active during the day, thus tiring you out. But it also makes the effect of melatonin stronger after the sun goes down and your body needs to rest, because your body is better differentiating the difference between night and day.
Have you adjusted to Daylight Saving Time yet?