Lighten The Load – How Natural Light Impacts Our Moods


If you are fortunate enough to live in the Sydney area, you are sure to know that the sunny climate makes a big difference for your mental health. Medical science has shown that exposure to natural light can significantly impact a variety of bodily functions and even moods. With more people spending more time inside nowadays, it remains important to seek natural sources of light in our daily lives wherever possible.

From taking brief walks outdoors on your lunch break to spend time with your family outdoors or allowing more light into your home by installing skylights in Sydney, residents have plenty of options available to them to bring more light into their life. There are so many benefits of natural light that can help to make you happier, healthier and more effective at work each and every day.

Let’s take a closer look at how natural light impacts our moods and why you need more natural light in your life.

Natural Light Fundamentals

As human beings are diurnal creatures, our bodies have evolutionarily adapted to be influenced by natural light cues. Our circadian rhythm, which is our bodies’ internal clock, is linked to virtually every process in the body and is itself strongly influenced by sources of natural light. To maximise one’s health and overall well-being, you should aim to be getting at least three hours of sunlight to properly set this clock.

This may seem like a great deal of time to spend outside in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but natural light can also be absorbed while sitting in rooms with windows and skylights as well.

Happy Hormones

When your biological rhythm is properly set, you can expect a noticeable improvement in your mood. This is largely due to the enhanced production and regulation of hormones in the body.

Melatonin is a substance in the brain which is optimally regulated by natural light. It is responsible for ensuring that you feel tired and have a restful sleep. Thus, exposure to sufficient natural light throughout the day can actually improve your sleep quality and, consequently, your mood and can be useful in the treatment of insomnia. Everyone knows that well-rested people are usually in better moods.

The production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of happiness and overall well-being, is also strongly influenced by exposure to natural light. Incorporating some time in the sun into your regular routine will help with keeping you in a better mood and a more relaxed state. It can even be used to treat the symptoms of mild depression such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Adequate natural light exposure can also provide a boost to your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D also plays a role in the regulation of moods as well as other functions like bodily immunity. To be sure you get enough, spend some time in the sun each day. This is especially true for those who do not get enough of this substance from fortified foods.

Better Mood Means More Productivity

Offices which rely largely on fluorescent lighting can be sure that their workers will be less productive and efficient. Naturally lit offices have been scientifically proven to increase worker motivation and to enhance the overall quality of life of employees. On the other hand, dimly or poorly lit spaces can make people excessively tired or even anxious.

See The Light

Beyond mood, there are many more ways in which exposure to natural light can benefit your physical and mental health. For example, studies suggest that we are more prone to making unhealthy food decisions when we spend time in dimly-lit restaurants when compared to a bright outdoor patio, for example. Keep this in mind and brighten up your interior spaces to keep yourself in a good mood all year round.


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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