When looking for a house, many buyers are attracted to properties with abundant natural light. Natural light can make a house warmer and more welcoming. But did you know that it has tremendous health benefits, both for your physical and mental health?
Without further ado, here are ways your health can benefit from natural light:
Increases your dose of vitamin D
There’s a reason vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin.” This is because the sun is our key source of this important vitamin. According to a 2010 study, vitamin D is found to influence over 200 genes in our body, and not getting enough vitamin D may increase susceptibility to a wide range of diseases. Vitamin D deficiency can increase an individual’s risk of autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes. The risk of developing certain cancers and even dementia gets higher too.
Boost your immune system
While it’s proven that sunlight helps our bodies produce vitamin D, recent studies have shown another powerful benefit of getting adequate sunlight. T-cells are a type of white blood cell that plays a vital role in our immune system. T-cells help fight foreign pathogens like bacteria. But to do their function, they must first “wake up” from dormancy to become active. What sunlight does is it wakes up and activates these T-cells.
Helps ward off seasonal depression
Six percent of the population experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is a condition described by feelings of listlessness and sluggishness during the cold, dark winter months. Many scientists hypothesize that serotonin, a chemical in our brain that’s linked to our mood, is very much affected by natural light.
Lack of sunlight can mess up our circadian rhythm, causing our brain to produce too much melatonin (sleep hormone) and less serotonin (the feel-good chemical). Exposure to adequate sunlight, especially during the dark winter months, will be beneficial to stave off depression.
Helps maintain your sleep cycle
Research has shown that exposure to adequate sunlight during the day helps us improve sleep during the night. Getting sunlight in the morning ramps up our body’s production of serotonin. In turn, after 12 hours or so, this serotonin is then converted into melatonin – helping us sleep later that night. As a consequence, getting less morning light than required may make it more difficult for us to fall asleep and wake up at our preferred times.
So, in the morning, make sure to roll up those window shades to let the maximum amount of sunlight in.
Reduces blood pressure
A 2014 study found that sunlight exposure may help reduce blood pressure, cutting the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Cardiovascular diseases, often associated with high blood pressure, account for 30 percent of global deaths each year. What sunlight does is that it helps alter the levels of nitric oxide (NO) in our skin and blood, reducing blood pressure. And as blood pressure drops, so does the risk of heart attacks and strokes. With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why you should seek a house that allows plenty of natural light.
Natural light not only makes a house feel more welcoming but it also helps you maintain good physical and mental health.