Workers exposed to sunlight through windows on the job got more sleep and reported higher quality of life than those without natural light access at work, in a study published in an online supplement to the journal Sleep.
As reported by Forbes.com, workers with windows received 173 percent more natural white light exposure during work hours than those in windowless offices and slept for an average of 46 minutes more per night. Workers exposed to more sunlight also tended to be more physically active and reported less physical ailments, higher vitality and better sleep quality
According to Dr. Marc Sorenson, who wrote about the study on his website, the results are particularly interesting because they cannot be related to vitamin D, as windows block the UVB light necessary for vitamin D production.
“It is likely that the positive effects of sunlight in this case were produced by increasing serotonin levels (a natural mood enhancer) in the brain during the sunlight exposure, and then allowing melatonin (a natural relaxer) to take over during the night for a restful sleep,” Sorenson wrote.
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