Natural Light: Positive Effects on the Brain and Health

Interesting? Useful? Share it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

I have been studying research in the area of natural light and its interaction on the human brain. An important point to make is that appropriate exposure to natural light has positive effects on our circadian rhythm and in turn promotes many aspects of health.

We evolved from exposure to natural day lighting. The sun provides a specific wavelength (blue range) in the early morning that lasts until early afternoon. At that point a different light wavelength is produced (red to orange range). We recently discovered that the retina has a specific photoreceptor that detects light and sends it to a special part of the brain known as the suprachiasm, located near the hypothalamus. Once the suprachiasm is triggered, it sets off the hypothalamus, the master gland that in turn triggers the pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands of the brain and body. The hormonal reaction to light is what causes and promotes the diverse actions of the body and health.

The blue range of light helps our bodies become aroused, alert, attentive and focused. As the day proceeds and we enter the afternoon when the blue range of light shifts to the red/orange range our bodies begin the process of slowing and ultimately sleeping. Our body slows in blood pressure and we enter the four stages of sleep including deep sleep. Melatonin is produced and growth hormones are triggered.

The circadian rhythm (means approximately a day) is critically important to our health as it has effects on our immune system, ability to fight off disease, hunger and obesity, blood pressure, and cognition. It controls our sleep wake cycle so important for brain function and body regulation.

I have learned that there are design lighting systems that help to promote exposure to natural light, to help set the circadian rhythm, and to promote human performance in the workplace and school. Natural lighting via design lighting systems can also help older adults residing in assisted living or long-term care facilities. Older adults experience changes in their sleep wake cycles and this gets exacerbated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies support increased school performance by students, and reduced agitation and increased sleep for older adults who reside or study in environments with the natural day lighting systems.

Email or call me if you work in a school district, an assisted living facility, or other building and have interest in enhancing human behavior and saving money from the energy efficiencies of natural day lighting systems.


Interesting? Useful? Share it!
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

23 thoughts on “Natural Light: Positive Effects on the Brain and Health

  1. Mike Woods

    I read a report in The Mind Health Report about roofing design systems; is this applicable to single family houses? If so, where can I find our more about these?

  2. Pingback: Natural Light: Positive Effects on the Brain and Health | mentalpoweracademy.com

  3. sheewola

    In the past few years Pepsi has been known for inventing and selling strangely flavored versions of their renown Pepsi soda. They’ve experimented with clear, white, clear, red, and now they’re going blue with Pepsi blue.

  4. Thomas Clancy

    This effect sounds like “sundowning,” a malady that my 84-year-old father is suffering from. He’s reasonable and “normal” during the day but becomes paranoid, a serial liar, and unreasonably insulting around dinner time and into evening. We don’t know whether his behavior is early dementia or not, as he seems to be in his right mind, except for these outbursts. He has claimed himself that he’s angrier than he’s ever been and doesn’t know why.

  5. Gym dating

    You’ve made some good points there. I looked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

  6. legal studies programs california

    Grеat goods from you, man. I’ve take note your stuff previous to and you’гe simply
    too fantastic. I rеally liκe ωhаt you’ve received right here, certainly like what you are stating and the best way by which you are saying it. You are making it entertaining and you continue to take care of to stay it smart. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is actually a tremendous site.

  7. Muscle Factor X Supplement

    Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was super
    long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for rookie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

  8. fantastic fat

    Whats uρ are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get stаrted and create my οwn.

    Do yоu neeԁ аnу html coding еxpertise tο make yοur own blog?
    Anу help would bе гeally apρгeсiatеd!

  9. Brainetics Review

    Јuѕt ԁesire to say yοur article is as aѕtοunding.
    The сlarіty in youг post is just sрectaculаг and i can asѕume
    you are an expert on thіs ѕubjеct. Fіne wіth your permiѕsion alloω me to grab уouг feeԁ to κeep uρԁated with forthcοming ρost.
    Thankѕ a million and pleasе continue thе gгatifying work.

  10. Sue Junnikkala

    My classroom recently had the lighting decreased by 33%. I am trying to get it changed back as my classroom receives no direct sunlight. Do you have any recommendations as to how much light is needed in a classroom to promote the positive health effects? The district is currently measuring in foot-candles. They have said that it’s too expensive to run the extra lighting. The lights are a fluorescent tube that is considered full spectrum. Can you give me an idea of the cost of 2 bulbs in every fixture vs 3 bulbs? I’d also be interested in receiving information on any other internet sites you recommend to help answer these questions. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide!

  11. Adolph Tackes

    It’s my belief that mesothelioma is definitely the most dangerous cancer. It contains unusual attributes. The more I really look at it the greater I am sure it does not respond like a real solid human cancer. In case mesothelioma is often a rogue viral infection, so there is the prospects for developing a vaccine along with offering vaccination for asbestos subjected people who are at high risk regarding developing future asbestos associated malignancies. Thanks for giving your ideas for this important ailment.

  12. United

    Great article ! Thanks for sharing this information. I didn’t have idea that natural light was so importan for thyroid function.

  13. Sylvie Moppin

    Assisted living as it exists today emerged in the 1990s as an eldercare alternative on the continuum of care for people, for whom independent living is not appropriate but who do not need the 24-hour medical care provided by a nursing home and are too young to live in a retirement home. Assisted living is a philosophy of care and services promoting independence and dignity.”‘;*

    Our own blog page
    <http://www.homefamilydigest.com/index.php

  14. Leigh

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation
    but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for
    me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  15. Pingback: Laser Therapy is an Excellent Addition to a Chiropractic Office | ScripHessco Blog

  16. Jamison Dunkerley

    Hi Kes,
    If the difficulty is a username/password dilemma and you are not able to log in then I am not sure what’s wrong. I tested it a second ago and it seemed to be working fine. Could you check again and see if it’s ok now?

  17. tahjma summers

    I wrk in a nursing home facility and I’ve notice the older rarely hardly ever go outside is this y shortly after admission u see change in their awareness

  18. Julie Johnson

    I am doing research for a residential property developer.We are UK based and experience short grey winter days. We use a large amount of glazing in our houses and want to promote the health benefits.

  19. Pingback: Natural Light: Positive Effects on the Brain and Health | Solabrite blog

What are your thoughts?