The Benefits of Natural Light in the Home - Home & Texture
Wellness Natural Light Benefits

How Much Does Natural Light Really Impact Your Home and Mental Health?

If you need a pick-me-up at home, make sunlight a part of your design aesthetic to elevate your mind, body, and living space.

March 2, 2024 at 7:12 AM PST

Though artificial light is the most common way to brighten our spaces, natural light extends far beyond mere illumination. From boosting vitamin D levels and to enhancing productivity, having ample natural light in your home plays a profound role in your mental and physical well-being. Here are five ways natural light can improve your life.

A smiling woman working on her laptop
Photo credit: Anna Shvets 

1. It enhances cognitive function and productivity.

According to the National Institutes of Health, natural light can play a heavy role in your cognitive function and productivity. Due to our natural circadian rhythms, daylight tends to make people feel happy and upbeat, which can help you think more clearly so you’re ready to tackle whatever comes your way.

Because daylight is linked to improved concentration, focus, and cognitive performance, it’s a must-have for your home office, library, and any other creative workspace. So if you want to enhance your productivity, be sure to let the sun shine through your windows whenever you’re home.

2. It can brighten your mood and energy levels.

Being exposed to natural light can cause serotonin to be released into the brain. This special hormone, touted as a “feel-good hormone,” can help elevate your mental health in a number of ways. This includes brightening your mood, boosting your energy levels, and fostering an overall state of contentment.

You can incorporate plenty of natural light into your home via windows, skylights, and open floor plans. Doing so not only enhances your state of mind, it helps to curate a space that feels inviting, uplifting, and conducive to positive energy.

3. It regulates your circadian rhythm and improves sleep patterns.

Did you know that our bodies have an internal clock that helps us know when to sleep? Known as the circadian rhythm, this special function plays a huge role in regulating sleep-wake cycles to ensure we’re getting quality sleep.

Letting natural daylight into your home during the day can help synchronize this circadian rhythm, which encourages wakefulness and alertness. Plus, by reducing your exposure to artificial light sources — i.e. fluorescent lamps, LEDs, or incandescent bulbs — you can fall asleep faster and for a longer period.

A frustrated woman sitting on the ground
Photo credit: Liza Summer 

4. It alleviates symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Many people thrive in the daylight. So much so, that they can develop Seasonal Affective Disorder when it’s hard to come by. Seasonal affective disorder — or SAD for short — is a type of depression that happens during the winter when the days are shorter, thus, there’s less natural light. With less natural light, people who suffer from SAD can experience fatigue, apathy, difficulty concentrating, and other challenging symptoms.

Though this disorder can be debilitating, exposure to natural light can help. Sunlight is helpful for relieving symptoms of SAD by boosting serotonin levels, regulating circadian rhythms, and improving mood.

You can even incorporate sunlight into your home decor to help, too. For example, you can use strategically placed windows or light wells to add more light to your space for a bright and more open environment.

5. It maximizes your health and overall well-being.

There are many benefits to adding more natural light into your home, but the biggest is that it can enhance your overall well-being. Increasing the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to is a great way to take better charge of your health.

Whether you prefer incorporating more sunlight through architectural design, interior layout, or specialized lighting solutions, taking advantage of the upsides of natural light can illuminate your living space and your well-being all in one.



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