The center of our solar system and source of all life on Earth, the Sun supplies unequivocal and irreplaceable light that our body needs to regulate the daily rhythms by which our bodies move and operate including body temperature, hormone release, energy level, appetite, and sleep-wake cycle. Because many of our daily physiological processes are dictated by this Circadian Rhythm, it is important we prioritize exposure to natural daylight as essential to our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
It is true that artificial lighting plays a role in the regulation of our Circadian Rhythm and is particularly beneficial in regions where sunlight may be scarce during the winter season, but the sun’s natural change in color and intensity throughout the day, as well as its ability to promote Vitamin D production, make it the most effective regulator of our Circadian Rhythm and the most suitable source of light for human health.
For this reason, the desire for daylighting in schools and places of work – where we often spend many of our waking hours – is growing. Studies show that people with greater exposure to daylight during regular working hours fell asleep faster, slept longer, and experienced fewer sleep disturbances than those unable to soak up as much sunlight. With a well-guided Circadian Rhythm that encourages a quality night’s sleep, study participants also reported greater positivity and productivity throughout the day.
Its health-promoting properties make natural daylight an essential element in creating a wholesome and energetic work environment, but other reasons to consider incorporating daylighting into your design include a pleasing aesthetic, less need for artificial lighting, decreased energy costs, and even reduced carbon emission. To learn more about the benefit of daylight and how sunlight stimulates our body’s natural rhythms, visit https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/pages/factsheet_circadianrhythms.aspx