With mental health being a key focus, especially over the last few years, it’s important to touch on the benefits that natural light can have not just on your mental health, but also your physical health too.
We often forget about how positive the impact of allowing plenty of natural light into our homes can actually be, so think about how much light your home brings in and consider what can be done to improve this. Do you get a chance during the day to get 10-20 minutes of sunlight? This is all you need to start reaping the rewards it could bring you. Leanne Saywood, director at The Mill Shop explains why you should let the light in.
Change your environment
Have you ever walked into a room where the curtains are drawn and it just feels dull? The same goes with work spaces and work from home offices, it can be difficult to concentrate and keep a sharp mind when there’s a lack of natural light flooding in. There are so many factors that can contribute to the feeling of ‘dullness’ such as a build up of dust, which tends to happen with a lack of natural light – eventually affecting your physical health too. Draw back the curtains and open the windows, and you’ll feel immediately better with fresh air and light flowing through.
Lowers blood pressure
It’s proven that when you become exposed to sunlight, it triggers the skin to release stores of nitrogen oxides, which cause arteries to dilate, lowering blood pressure. When your blood pressure is lower, it benefits your overall cardiovascular health. Even changing your thick, blackout curtains to pretty voiles can benefit your physical health. We would recommend doing this in areas of your home which don’t require blackout curtains (because we still do love these for the bedroom). You can even layer nets underneath your current curtains to get the best of both worlds.
When we don’t get enough Vitamin D it can affect our bone health and they can become very weak without as it is an essential nutrient. Long-term deficiency can even contribute to issues like osteoporosis, so exposing yourself to natural light could really benefit you in the long-term. It’s important to let natural light into spaces such as living rooms, or anywhere you spend a long period of time.
The human body creates a hormone called melatonin, which is critical to helping you sleep at night. Research indicates that getting exposure to an hour of natural light in the morning will help you sleep better, as sunshine regulates your circadian rhythm by telling your body when to increase and decrease your melatonin levels. So, ideally the more daylight exposure you can get, the easier your body will produce melatonin when it’s time to go to sleep.
Melatonin can also help to reduce your stress levels. Additionally, when you are outside you tend to be doing something active, whether that’s going for a walk, or a run, or just being outside, that extra exercise will also have a great effect on your mental wellbeing.
How to get more natural light in the home
Mirrors allow natural light to bounce around a room. Sunlight from the windows can reflect against a mirror, casting more the brightness into your home.
Colours close to white, such as light-coloured pastels will reflect all of the sunlight. Whilst white is going to be the most reflective colour, you may not want your home to be too cold and plain, so don’t be afraid to add a little colour.
Curtains are lovely to look at, we know that out of everyone, and The Mill Shop has a fantastic range of them. However, if you are wanting to let more light into your home, you might want to go with a thinner curtain option.
If you are unsure what to do next, get in touch with professionals for their expert advice. There are a wide range of nets and voiles that you can replace your super thick curtains with to allow all the daylight into your home and hopefully make you a happier, healthier person.