What are the Benefits of Natural Light in Your Home?
We know all too well how sunlight—or the lack of it—affects our mood. While we may not fully understand why, but as long as we spend some time outdoors each day, whether it’s a walk in the morning or lunch in the courtyard, we just feel better.
As we begin thinking about buying a new house, we wonder if there are health benefits to having more natural light in the home. Is it possible some health symptoms could be lessened if everyone simply had access to more light? If so, should this be included in a new home construction checklist?
The answer to both these questions is an emphatic “yes.” Here's why.
The Benefits of Natural Light in a Home
With the possible exception of climates that experience extreme weather conditions, throughout history, most humans spent much of their lives outside—except, of course, when sleeping. Waking, working, and sleeping hours were determined by the sun’s position. The advent of electricity obviously changed this, but it wasn't until recently that this change became a sweeping one. Now that we typically rest, work, and play indoors, our overall time spent inside has escalated—contributing to a wide array of health problems that prolonged exposure to artificial lighting exacerbates.
In fact, research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information points the finger squarely at too little natural light (and, by extension, too much artificial light) as the culprit for our increasingly failing health. We aren't just moodier and more anxious than we've ever been. We're heavier, sicker, and find it increasingly difficult to sleep well and through the night. Depression is becoming more common, as are certain cancers. We even have trouble simply concentrating fully on day-to-day tasks. And the remedy to what ails us isn't just less time at the office or in front of the TV; it's more sunlight.
There are multiple ways in which sunlight positively affects our health. For example, it:
- Increases the production of Vitamin D in the body.
Vitamin D has long been known to assist with the absorption of calcium and, therefore, promote the growth and maintenance of strong bones. More recently, however, its role in preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive dysfunction, and even diabetes has become clear. And a lack of Vitamin D is now linked to the increased incidence of these health issues in addition to the symptoms we already associate with a deficiency, like muscle pain and weakness, and bone fragility.
- Regulates and stimulates the production of hormones.
Increasing the production of Vitamin D in the body already improves the levels of some hormones, like 1,25(OH)D and testosterone. These hormones lower blood pressure and raise red blood cell count, respectively. But exposure to sunlight assists with the production of other hormones on its own.
Melatonin, for example, though produced at night, is regulated by the amount of light you receive during daylight hours. Meanwhile serotonin, also affected by your exposure to light, is produced during the day. Together, these hormones play critical roles in how you sleep, whether you can fight off disease, and if you experience pain and discomfort as you age. When these hormones aren't regulated or produced in sufficient quantities, your body becomes ill—and so can your mind if you're always sleep-deprived, sick, and in pain.
- Supports your body's circadian rhythm.
The body's natural sleep-wake cycle—called its circadian rhythm—spans the length of about 24 hours. It's another internal process that affects how you feel physically and mentally and, as a result, influences how you behave. It's why you tend to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time every day (or, at least, why your body attempts to convince you to).
It's also why, when your sleep-wake routine is off-balance, the rest of your body's systems also get thrown off. After just a few days, you start to feel rundown. Over a long enough period, you could get quite sick. High blood pressure, prostate and breast cancer, auto-immune diseases, and diabetes have been linked to whether you get enough good sleep. And the most common culprit of circadian rhythm disruption is day-to-day exposure to artificial light and lack of sunlig
With the vast majority of people in the U.S. now spending nearly 90% of their time indoors, how do you get more sunlight to ensure your body and mind are as healthy as possible? Aside from resting, working, and playing outside all day, you can increase your access to sunlight in your own home. Just as the advantages of incorporating a fresh air ventilation system into your house can't be overstated, neither can the benefits of adding natural light to your home. Your health depends on it.
Luckily, leading home development companies take the benefits of natural light in the home very seriously. They take it so seriously, in fact, that many of their modern home architecture designs include large double- or triple-paned glass walls created specifically to let light in while insulating the home and deflecting harmful UV rays. They may automate the homes as well, with predictive technology that supports your body's circadian rhythm by dimming the lights and reducing your bedroom's heat at night, setting the stage for your body to transition into a deep and restful sleep. This intuitive drive to design a healthier environment happens to make for an aesthetically pleasing experience that incorporates the outdoors into the home.
Improve Your Health with a Home Designed with You in Mind
Few home producers, however, combine the attributes of wellness and elegance as successfully as the team at Dvele. All of Dvele's prefabricated homes are strategically engineered and produced with Eurotek 70 Series double- or triple-paned glass walls, windows, as well as lift-and-slide glass doors. So, not only do occupants experience a greater connection to life outside, they also get the full benefits of natural light while inside the home. Proactive home automation systems can be included to automate the home’s heating and lighting to prompt your body's individual circadian rhythm.
Dvele takes these extra steps to improve the health of every premium home they engineer and constructs them based on a set of values that extends beyond modern building standards. Dvele homes are built without materials that contain dangerous toxins and are tested to ensure there are few, if any, indoor air pollutants. They're also energy-efficient, green, and can include a solar array along with back-up batteries to make the home grid independent. Their innovative designs are carefully thought out and truly elegant, leaving you feeling safe, healthy, and delighted. Of course, they should; they're built with you in mind.