The key to a better night’s sleep may be right outside your window. A recent study showed that office workers who had a window with a view outside had a better quality of sleep than those who worked in a windowless office.
The study, published online as a supplement to the journal Sleep, looked at the sleep quality of 49 office workers, 27 who work in workspaces without windows, and 22 with windows in their workspace. As reported in Forbes magazine, “Compared to workers in windowless offices, those with windows received 173 percent more natural white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night.”
They also found that those exposed to natural light all day tended to be more physically active overall and reported having a better quality of life in general.
Further, Discovery Health reports on research that shows that the time of day that people are exposed to the sun is also important. Morning sunlight is even better than later in the day. Morning light improves sleep because it helps to regulate our natural clocks or, our circadian rhythm, and helps to reset these clocks.
They report that the best time of day to get in the sun is between 6 and 8:30 a.m. because that’s when our body’s clocks are the most responsive to the sunlight. And, for an even bigger boost, try to stay directly in that morning sun for half an hour.
Although increased time in the morning sun is ideal, getting more sunlight any time of day will help. If you are stuck inside an office without windows, use your lunch break, take an afternoon break, or try to make time before work to get outside. Or, why not start your own small garden, even if it’s on your balcony or patio, to soak up the sun and get your day started in a positive way.
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