How the lack of natural light affects our health

Our bodies need the vital energy found in natural light to support our immune system and help us to fight physical and psychological disease. With exposure to natural light and fresh air, our bodies feel nourished and our minds alive.

Light affects the pituitary and pineal glands, both master glands of our endocrine system. These control the release of hormones into the body. If our hormones are not balanced, we can suffer from hormone-related problems such as mood swings, irrational behaviour and panic attacks. 

Exposure to sunlight not only makes us feel happier, less stressed it helps to regulate hormones and aids in a good night’s sleep. Natural light travelling to the brain also releases endorphins into our bloodstream that give us the feel-good factor. 

We must be exposed to a minimum of thirty minutes each day of natural light, without wearing sunglasses or sitting behind a windscreen of a car. Exposure to natural light and fresh air daily helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, which governs our biological clock. 

How the lack of natural light affects our health 
  • Our brains feel dull and fuzzy.
  • Suffer from poor memory and lack of concentration.
  • Emotionally we feel drained, depressed and irritable. 
  • Suffer from tiredness or fatigue.
  • Susceptible to eye strain.
  • lowered immune system. 
  • Interferes with calcium absorption in the elderly and contribute to brittle bones.
  • The skin absorbs vitamin D from sunlight which helps with bone development and facilitates the absorption of calcium. 
Top Tips
  • Aim for thirty minutes each day exposure to sunlight, take a walk in your lunch break or walk to the shops instead of taking the car.
  • Like anything new, it is all about creating new habits, take each day as it comes, and be proud of yourself for any small change you have made.
  • Set the alarm on your phone every lunchtime to remind yourself to take a walk.
  • Bring in more natural light by opening a window at home or work.
  • Draw curtains back as far as possible and keep blinds up during the day, to let the natural light flood the room.
  • When decorating, think about the use of the space, where possible, use lighter reflective colours and materials.
  • Where you can’t get out and maybe feeling down, you can use a SAD light. Most of these are portable, so you can even pop one on your desk.
  • Invest in a sunlight simulator alarm clock that can help regulate your sleeping pattern.