Last updated September 7, 2017 by Lisa Richards, CNC

Are You Getting Enough Natural Light?

Sunshine

One problem that many Candida sufferers struggle with is a lack of energy. There are many ways to improve this, starting with addressing the Candida overgrowth itself. But today, I’m going to take a look at how you can improve your energy levels by exposing yourself to natural light.

Some of our ancestors may have lived in caves, but they actually got much more natural light than most of us do today! Sunlight helps us to function better and makes us happier all round, and not just because it gives us an attractive glow.

What does the science say? As soon as sunlight hits your eyes, the pineal gland in your brain reduces production of a hormone named melatonin. That’s the same melatonin that you might have seen in various sleep aids at your local pharmacy. As melatonin levels fall, you become more alert and awake.

By getting enough natural light, you can also help to synchronize your daily hormone cycle. Hormones that are affected by this include cortisol and melatonin. By regulating this daily cycle you should experience better sleep and improved energy during the day.

Natural Light Can Boost Your Energy Levels

If you notice your energy levels falling off even more in winter, or when the sky clouds over, there are some simple steps you can take. By bringing a little sunshine back into your life, you can give a major boost to your energy levels:

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1. Allow more natural light into your home and workplace

Whether you’re at home or in the office, be sure to keep your curtains open for as long as possible during the day. At work, remove any obstructions that are preventing light from reaching your desk. If possible, get a desk near the window.

There are a few easy strategies for increasing the amount of natural light that gets inside your home. Start by trimming any overhanging branches that are blocking sunlight from coming into your windows. If possible, add windows and skylights.

2. Embrace the great outdoors

Go for walks first thing in the morning, when the sunlight is at its brightest. If possible, go out for lunch in the park or sit in the backyard instead of staying indoors. Remember that going for a walk is not just great exercise; it’s a wonderful way to get some natural sunlight too. Even if the skies are clouded over you will still see some benefits.

3. Use day-lighting systems to bring natural light into your home

There are various day-lighting systems on the market that ensure the maximum amount of light is delivered to the dark and windowless areas of your home or workplace. Examples include skylights, and daylight ‘tubes’ that bring sunlight from your roof to your interior. Installing such lighting will make a huge difference to your personal energy levels and overall wellbeing. Your houseplants will also thank you for it!

4. Avoid harsh artificial lighting at home and work

Harsh lighting is a source of stress that can contribute to increased cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is a powerful stress hormone that has a number of different roles. It slows down your digestive processes and suppresses the immune system. Chronic exposure to it can lead to adrenal fatigue. Both of these can negatively affect your body’s ability to cope with infections like a Candida overgrowth.

Research shows that cortisol is produced more frequently and in larger amounts when you are exposed to artificial lighting for long periods of time. Natural daylight counteracts this. The body’s cortisol output falls and stress levels decline as a result.

Three ways In Which Natural Sunlight Will Improve Your Health

1. Avoid the “Afternoon Crash”

Studies among office workers have shown that the much-lamented “afternoon crash” occurs around 2.00 pm, when natural light starts to fade in offices and energy levels begin to flag.

A 2013 study carried out by Dr. Mirjam Münch shown that lighting conditions in workplaces contribute directly to job satisfaction, wellbeing and productivity. Mood, alertness and a feeling of well-being were influenced negatively by electric light and positively by natural light. Better natural lighting, so the study concluded, improved productivity, mood, and well-being without the aid of tea, coffee or other stimulants after the dreaded 2.00 pm threshold.

2. Natural Light Boosts Your Mental Health

Lack of exposure to natural light has been linked with several mental disorders, such as depression, for example. Sunlight is responsible for triggering the production of dopamine and serotonin in your body. Both hormones are responsible for you feeling happy, relaxed, and ready to tackle anything.

Natural light also increases daytime vitamin D levels in your body, which helps to boost your immune system, maintain your natural sleep-wake cycle, and much more. A healthy, rested human being is a far more productive, happier person than one who is tired due to lack of sleep or illness.

3. The warmth from natural light will make you more productive

In a study conducted by Cornell University’s Professor Alan Hedge, environmental conditions are linked directly to productivity. The university’s team of researchers tested different office temperatures at a large insurance company in Florida. They discovered that low temperatures of 68 degrees Fahrenheit/ 20 degrees Celsius induced the employees to make 44% more mistakes than they did at an optimal room temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit / 25 degrees Celsius.

When we feel cold, we are uncomfortable. The study highlights that this causes your body to use considerable amounts of energy to keep warm, instead of providing energy that helps you to concentrate on the job in hand.

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Comments

  1. Mariangel says:

    Thanks for your posts.. Han sido de gran ayuda en este camino que transito.
    About day light unfortunately I lived in Lima, Peru… there is not sun light here at all.. every day is just cloud and cloudy… Any advice for me? Thanks!

    1. Lisa Richards says:

      Hi Mariangel, have you thought of trying light therapy? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_therapy

  2. anna says:

    Natural light also helps fight depression. A walk under the sun (at noon during winter or early in the morning or late afternoon during the summer. That is if you live at the Mediterranean coasts. For other countries you should pick the right time) helps the body produce anti depression hormones like serotonin.

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