In a previous article you have already been able to read about the functioning of the sleep guard rhythm , and the great influence that has a light on this bio-rhythm. In this article we further focus on the influence of daylight on the night’s rest .
In summary, hormones are created in the body that control this rhythm. Thus we know the sleep hormone ( Melatonin ) and the watchdog (Cortisol). Melatonin makes us sleepy and cortisol keeps us awake. The production of melatonin begins when it becomes dark and continues throughout the night. As soon as the weather starts to light, the production of cortisol begins to start throughout the day. If you get some of the “day” and daylight with you!
The eyes play an important role in this whole process. Your eyes must catch enough daylight if your body is producing cortisol.
No daylight, no cortisol … no daylight, melatonin … (gauze)
This can very well explain why you may be struggling to stay awake at work!
Why a good workplace can not be without windows
If your workplace does not have enough light, or maybe not even windows at all. Then it is not so strange if you are less energetic, and thus less productive at work. Additionally, this affects your sleep as a result of your entire rhythm or biological clock being disturbed.
Research has shown that people who work in workplaces with many windows are not only much more energized, but sleep better and longer during the night too. The research was very simple. This consisted of a test group that operated without exposure to daylight, and a test group that had a daylight supply in his or her workplace. Quality of life, activity and night rest were then measured. And the results …
The test group that was exposed to daylight was not all the more active during the day, but slept 46 minutes longer on average per night! And perhaps even more seriously, the people working in a place without windows generally assess the quality of life! I conclude, however, that it also has a pretty depressing effect to be insufficiently exposed to daylight.
Influence of daylight on the quality of life
To emphasize the importance and the influence of daylight (and good light at the workplace), I also want to emphasize some extreme consequences. Light influences humans on physical, physiological and psychological levels. A lack of natural light can have serious health consequences. This can even result in diseases.
The body extracts 80% of its vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. A shortage of daylight can also cause a shortage of this vitamin. This can again result in bone loss, bone frailty, depression and even cancer!
Too little daylight can have serious health consequences
If you are less exposed to daylight during the day, it is an option to swallow vitamin D. In any case, you support the process. During the winter period, the production of vitamin D through the body is lower. You might therefore consider drinking some vitamin D during this period.
Winter vs Summer
In winter we need more sleep than in summer. This is due to the light cycles, ie the number of hours of sunshine and daylight. In the summer it’s longer light which makes us more active and less tired. As in the article about the sleep watch rhythm , it was already readable that sleep hormones were created in the body when it became dark (melatonin). In the summer it will be a lot of light later, which will also start this process much later. On the other hand, more and more watchdogs (Cordisol) are created throughout the day, which keeps us awake.
In summer we are more active and need less sleep
The effect of daylight
Fortunately, light and the influence of daylight on physics, physiological and psychological levels are in the interest of the last few decades.The discovery and the fact that (visible) daylight that affects the eyes causes biological effects to ensure that a lot of research programs have been established to gain more knowledge about the influence of light on humans.
And for employers. Do you want active, productive, happy, healthy and equipped employees? Then provide workplaces with sufficient windows!
In the 7-Step Perfect Sleep book, the influence of daylight plays an important role. This book explains exactly what the effect of daylight on the hormones is and how this can help you sleep better.