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We spend 90% of our time indoors, and there is literally no substitute for natural daylight to safeguard against the health fallout resulting from lack of light on our bodies. 

Even the brightest artificial lighting cannot match daylight for keeping us healthy. Scientific research has proved the links between lack of daylight and a variety of physical and mental problems. In fact, experts estimate that 15% of the world’s population suffer from different levels of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, or winter depression), and this tendency is higher with an increase in latitude.  

There are also many other health issues connected with lack of adequate daylight. For example, vitamin D deficiency, which has been linked to problems like tiredness, fatigue and increased vulnerability to disease. You need to get outside for your body to be exposed to the sunlight that enables the production of vitamin D, and for many northern countries, we all rely on the spring and summer months to go outside. Also, artificial light can disrupt our body clock, which can lead to concentration issues, high blood pressure – and more.


Although the effects of lack of daylight cannot be seen with the naked eye, they still need to be taken seriously. Our metabolisms need daylight to function properly, so general fatigue and troubled sleep are often symptoms And sleep disruption itself has been linked to issues like stress, depression, heart disease, increased vulnerability to infection.


When we talk about introducing more daylight into our daily lives, for most people it is probably a case of reacting to a problem they didn’t know they had. And as such, it can be difficult to get motivated. But remember – the issues are real and dealing with them can dramatically improve your general quality of life.

Science has proved that getting more daylight boosts both physical and mental health so here are some small, simple changes that can be made today:


Follow the (natural) light

Light your home and workplace with as much daylight as possible. Artificial light cannot replicate the qualities of sunlight, which is a natural anti-depressant, so try to use daylight as your primary light source and supplement it with artificial light when necessary. Also, move your dining table or your desk closer to the window.


Take a walk

Get outside when you have a chance and try to stretch your legs on a regular basis. Most scientists agree that being exposed to two hours of daylight per day is a great boost to our mental wellbeing.


Get in rhythm

Our bodies can only synchronise with the so-called “sleep, work, live” 24-hour rhythm through the correct exposure to light and darkness. If possible, orientate your bedrooms – particularly those for adolescents and young adults, who have a delayed biological clock and often find it hard to get up in the mornings – east towards the morning sun.


As well as new daily routines, it is also important to seize chances to make fundamental changes to your home’s indoor climate. We spend 90% of our time indoors and 2/3 of that time spent in our homes, so it is an ideal place to start improving your life indoors.


Improve your existing space

Think about how you can ‘bring the outside in’ by having more daylight in your home. As most of us live in urban environments, to some extent we have alienated ourselves from nature. Look for windows or doors that increase the amount of daylight in your room – bear in mind that light from a window in the roof brings in more daylight than a normal window.

Grow your space the right way

Adding extra square metres to your home is a great way to improve your indoor life. Consider an attic renovation or extension and prioritize solutions that bring in fresh air and daylight.

Moving home

When you’re looking for a new home, bear in mind that older properties might have issues that will impact your indoor climate. For example, make sure you check that the windows bring in enough daylight – if not, consider looking into adding more windows or doors. Also, when you get to the redecorating stage, choose a lighter paint colour. These will create mirrored surfaces that will reflect light better in your home.


Science shows that classrooms that are well lit with daylight make for more effective learning than those that are poorly lit. There is no reason to doubt that these benefits also apply in the home and workplace.


There are many ways to get better air and daylight into your home. Some are quick and easy, others take more time but will give you solid long-term improvements.