The Importance of Windows: Natural Light Health Benefits
Imagine a home without windows. Dark, enclosed, and suffocating, this is not an appealing image for a home – without a glimpse to the outside world. Human beings cannot function without getting at least a little bit of sun. This is why having windows in a home is extraordinarily beneficial.
So why is natural light so important? There are many reasons why we crave and need natural light in our homes and day-to-day lives. For one reason, a windowless room can throw off any feng shui and have the opposite intended affect of our interior decorating.
The use of natural light has also been proven to produce tremendous health benefits. The power of natural light has a long list of benefits; from the way our bodies work on a daily basis to our mental and physical well-being.
Natural Light Increases Productivity
According to a study conducted by a Sacramento-based research group, about 20,000 students in three separate states had standardized tests scores that 26% higher when taking the exams in buildings as opposed to the students in buildings with artificial light.
This is just one out of countless studies performed on the concept of natural light and the increase of productivity.
Natural light doesn’t just affect test scores, either. A separate study in 1995 conducted by the same group, Heschong Mahone, discovered that there was a 40% increase in sales at a Walmart store under skylights in comparison to the Walmart stores without skylights above the checkout counters. Imagine, just a few natural skylights encourage more sales.
Windows that allow for this passage of natural light tells our bodies that it’s daytime, and the inherent urge to complete our chores, jobs, school and other duties before nightfall kicks in. If the addition of a few skylights increased sales, what else can windows and natural light do for us?
The Importance of Your Daily Vitamin D Dose
Vitamin D plays an important role in our overall health. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), vitamin D is absorbed through our skin (and can also be consumed in foods like egg yolks, and fish), transformed into vitamin D3, and then metabolized in the liver and kidney. Vitamin D aids in the health of your nerve, muscle and immune system.
Imagine not having enough windows in your home to provide you with the much-needed vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency can result in serious bone diseases, like osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children.
Just by adding a few windows to each room to ensure you and your family are getting enough natural sunlight throughout the day, you can prevent these health risks.
Windows make getting vitamin D extremely simple. They provide enough exposure that even if you don’t leave the house that day; your body will still soak in the rays of the sun.
Even if you spend the day in the basement, a room known for limited lights, you’ll still get the natural light through the basement windows!
Sunlight Helps Fight Depression
Seasonal Affective Disorder, more commonly known by its all too appropriate acronym, SAD, is a condition that describes the feeling of listlessness during the winter season. This sluggishness that takes over our bodies and minds during the cold, dark couple of months in the winter is due to the lack of exposure to natural light.
Many scientists hypothesize that serotonin, a chemical in our brain that is linked to our mood, is very much affected by natural light. Even on colder days in the winter, natural light still curb depressive feelings.
An Australian study that focused on levels of brain chemicals concluded that serotonin levels were reportedly higher on days that were sunnier than cloudy days, despite how cold or hot the weather was.
Of course, winter days are known to be long and dark, so this is why SAD is more bound to occur.
There have been countless studies centered on how natural light affects us as human beings and how getting natural light through windows help us feel better throughout the day as well as overall.
Some studies have also shown that workers who are exposed to daylight or bright indoor lighting reportedly feel less depressed because of this.
Having windows in each room of your home can make your mood much more positive. There’s nothing better than having a window above the kitchen sink to make the dreaded chore of washing dishes easier, or a window in your home office to make the work go by quicker.
Natural Light Helps Maintain Our Sleep Cycle
A study conducted by the National Center of Biotechnology Information focused on our sleep cycle—or circadian cycle—and our response as humans to natural light and what effects it may have on our sleep.
The study covered results for over three decades and concluded that the natural light we’re exposed to throughout the day plays an essential and tremendous role in our clock genes and sleep cycle.
A separate study that followed over 100 different employees and workers measured the amount of light they were exposed to throughout the day. The results were impressive when it came to how this exposure to natural light aided in their well-being.
The employees that were exposed to morning light from first thing in the morning to noon slept better. They reported that they fell asleep faster than the workers who were not exposed to as much natural light, and they also slept through the night without waking up nearly as much.
The way natural light helps us sleep is easy to understand. Our brains produce chemicals at night to help us sleep after a long fulfilling day of completing our chores, work, and other routines.
Our biology inherently knows when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to be awake based on our 24 hour circadian cycle, which is greatly helped by our exposure to natural light.
Natural Light and the Importance of Windows
It goes without saying that windows allow us to enjoy as much natural light as possible while still being indoors. In many instances, you can never have to many windows in a home with all the benefits that receiving natural light begets.
As humans, we need this natural light to survive. It helps our mood, productivity, physical and mental health, and gets us to sleep at night so we can wake up and start again.
The benefits of natural light and windows will also help boost the curb appeal of your home, aside from all of the other countless benefits sunlight provides. A better curb appeal means the more value in your home, and this is especially helpful with newer windows that keep in the energy and keep out the elements.
Let that natural sunlight into your home by having lots of windows in each room. It’ll make your interior decorating shine as well as the exterior aesthetic of your home. Soaking in the natural light will help with your productivity indoors, so you don’t have to step outside to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
If after reading this, you realize that your current windows aren’t in the best condition, look to Feldco for the best window replacement around. We’ve served over 350,000 homeowners and would love to help you with your next project – get a free quote now.