A healthy home is a happy home and a happy home leads to a happy healthy life! One solution to achieving this is through the correct utilization of daylight.
Daylight is an essential health benefit that is not nearly exploited enough. Exposure to natural light helps establish normal eye to brain development, strong healthy bones, a strong immune system, reduces mental stress and even helps you sleep better. So why not take advantage of this natural resource? Daylight is the most accessible medicine we have!
In a 2015 survey carried out by VELUX, Europeans were given nine health factors to rank in importance and sleeping well at night, ventilating your home and daylight in your home made it into the top four.
It is essential to live in a healthy home given we now spend 90% of our time indoors, therefore it is important to understand how we can achieve the perfect home environment.
One of the easiest ways to do is by daylighting our homes by opening up roofs to bring the outdoors in with roof windows and rooflights. To maximise natural light coming into a room, the standard amount of window space needed is a 20% of the space in the roof.
Many people rely on artificial lighting even when there is plenty of daylight left outside. This is a major detriment to our health as it can decrease the production of melatonin in your body, causing you to be deprived of energy and even feel depressed. While too much exposure to sun can be uncomfortable and even cause heat exhaustion, appropriate ventilation and blinds can negate this.
You should try to ensure that you have created a good sleeping environment, since to get the best nights’ sleep you should be immersed in 100% darkness and a comfortable temperature that will prevent you from being too hot or too cold.
As well as your bedroom, the entire house should be at a comfortable temperature to ensure for a pleasant chill in the summer and a less than warm temperature during winter. Maintaining the perfect indoor climate is becoming more challenging due to the ever-growing problem of global warming, therefore daylight your home through the installation of rooflights will help provide your home with regular, automatic ventilation.
Good ventilation is vital to having a healthy home. By simply airing your home a few times a day, you can help prevent yourself from feeling tired and apathetic! A simple design solution is to allow for natural ventilation via the stack effect which allows air to flow through a window or door on the lower floors of the house and to flow upwards towards the rooflights.
Ventilation will also help to reduce the humidity and risk of mould developing in your home and causing health problems. Mould and fungus can cause you to develop respiratory problems such as asthma. VELUX ACTIVE is an example of a system that has been created with the specific purpose of making these problems a thing of the past.
Even spending an hour a day outside in the sunlight will improve your physical and mental health. Natural light triggers circadian rhythms in your brain, these are the equivalent to a 24-hour clock in your brain that causes you to become sleepy and then more awake. Therefore being outside causes you to become more awake as your brain understands that it is the time of day that you need to be awake. This is the reason why when you spend more time in the natural light, your body is more awake so that your productivity, performance and learning is increased due to having less strain on the eyes, increased concentration and being able to maintain focus.
A good example of this is in hospitals. Studies have proven that if a patient has access to natural light and a view of a green setting their recovery rate is actually accelerated!
Mental Health Benefits
As well as being physically helpful, higher doses of sunlight has mental benefits since it can help you feel more positive and reduce stress. According to The Weather Channel and YouGov, 29% of adults suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), this causes people to feel irritable and have low self-esteem due to the lack of sunlight causing the production of melatonin in your body to slow. One of the best treatments for SAD is to adapt your lifestyle so that you are getting as much natural sunlight as possible.
Daylighting also has a major contribution to sustainable living since increasing our use of natural resources such as natural light will in turn prevent us from using as non-renewable resources, helping to reduce the impact we are having on adding greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
This is in itself a benefit as you can sleep easy in the knowledge that your home is not affecting the environment as much as it could be.
How to Take Advantage of These Benefits
There are many ways to take full advantage of the benefits of daylight with our wide range of rooflights and pitched roof windows.
If you are looking to fill your kitchen with natural light then installing roof windows from RoofLITE or ECO+, for example, will provide lots of daylight and open up the space. This will also aid ventilation so that when you are cooking, the steam and odours will be carried out of the windows keeping your kitchen clear and neutral.
If you are looking to include daylight into a basement, Lightway sun tunnels are a great way to bring light down into a dark room. For example you could fit them into your utility room so that when you are carrying out your mundane tasks of the week, such as washing, you don’t have to dread going down into a dark and gloomy room. Walk-on rooflights are another great option as far as basements and cellars are concerned.
In conclusion, to maintain a happy healthy home you need to let in lots of daylight, retain a comfortable temperature, comfortable sleeping environment and ventilate your home well. These factors will increase your wellbeing physically and mentally and help prevent health issues from appearing.
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