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Just like plants, sunlight is food for us too and without enough sunlight, our organs fail to function properly. Our “bodies” are actually made up of four distinct parts—physical, emotional, mental and spiritual and sunlight helps to stay healthy in a holistic way. But we’re becoming an ‘indoor generation’, a generation that spends 90% of their life indoors. Nature is being replaced with gadgets, and sunlight with artificial lighting. We wake up in a closed room, shower in a closed bathroom, get to a closed elevator into a closed car and drive to work where we spend all day working in closed spaces. 

Unfortunately, our bodies aren’t adapted to living without sunlight. Sunlight has been the biological need for us humans and because we’re not getting it many things are starting to go wrong. Most of us are starting to feel sad. As a society we’re constantly under stress or anxiety. Depression has become a common state of mind and we’re popping pills to feel happy. But how can we feel happy if we shut ourselves in darkness. Some people have trouble sleeping and others with breathing. The lack of sunlight is also affecting children’s ability to learn to remember. On a physical level, it’s softening our bones and problems like osteoporosis, cervical, arthritis, constantinian back pains which once only used to affect our grandparents are becoming common even amongst younger generations. Hard to notice in the beginning, but the lack of sunlight is disrupting the natural functioning of our organs and we’re getting diseases like diabetes, prod, hormonal imbalances, thyroid, acne, psoriasis and high blood pressure. 

Humans have evolved outdoors. Sunlight is the original medicine that humans have been using for thousands of years. Our forefathers used to worship the sun as the deity of health and happiness. In our Vedic Indian texts, it is said that the sun can heal anything. The Gayatri Mantra was sung as a prayer to the sun god who is called Surya Narayana in our Vedas. Surya Namaskar or sun salutations were done every morning to benefit the body of exercise as well as the sun. In Germany, during World War 1, sunlight was used to treat war wounds. When soldiers fighting in a war got gunshot wounds, instead of wrapping the wound with bandage, the military doctors exposed it to the sun for several hours a day. Sunlight was actually used as an antiseptic to clean up the wound. In Rome, they practiced something called solar architecture. A true architect looked at someone who also had the knowledge of health and designed buildings with the most sunlight. In Greece, they used heliotherapy which uses sunlight as medicine. All across Europe, there were heliotherapy clinics where patients, particularly children, were put in sun beds for much of the day and saw dramatic results in curing all diseases including rickets, burns, ulcers, anaemia. In Italy, they made sunlit hospital rooms. Patients who were put in sunlit hospital rooms healed much faster than patients in rooms which received no sunlight. All across the world sunlight was used as a medicine.

We have to let sunlight back into our lives again. From an indoor generation, we need to become an outdoor generation. Here are 12 reasons as to why you need as much natural lighting in your home as possible


This one’s pretty obvious, but it’s worth saying anyway. Strategic natural lighting can reduce energy costs because it can help bring in heat or brighten a space without using electricity. 


There’s a reason Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin” because your skin makes it when it’s exposed to the sun and sunshine is our key source of this important vitamin. How important is it? A study conducted in 2010 found that Vitamin D influences the functioning of over 200 genes in our bodies. The study showed quite dramatically the wide-ranging influence that vitamin D exerts over our health. Vitamin D influences the bones, intestines, immune and cardiovascular systems, pancreas, muscles, brain, the control of cell cycles, and more. Having your home set up to receive as much sunlight as possible can help you get some of your daily vitamin D, without you even having to think about it.


Research shows that sunlight alters levels of the small messenger molecule, nitric oxide (NO) in the skin and blood, which reduces blood pressure. When exposed to sunlight, small amounts of NO are transferred from the skin to the circulation, lowering blood vessel tone, blood pressure drops, and so does the risk of heart attack and stroke.


Our immune systems rely on T-cells to fight foreign pathogens and sunlight (specifically Vitamin D) wakes them up. T cells are a type of white blood cell that performs a central role in the immune system. In order to find, react and fight off various infections in the body, T cells must transform from dormant, harmless cells to active ones capable of killing often serious bacteria and viruses. Scientists have discovered that vitamin D is critical to T cell function. Without sufficient sources of this vitamin in the blood, the cells remain dormant and are therefore incapable of activating to fight foreign pathogens.


Sunlight causes our brains to produce serotonin, a hormone that can improve mood by alleviating pain, providing energy and making us feel happy and well-rested. Sunlight also produces endorphins, otherwise known as the “feel-good hormone.” 


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs when the seasons change, usually in the fall and winter. Although the specific cause of SAD has not been determined, it’s linked to a disruption of our circadian rhythm and decreases of serotonin and melatonin: all because of lack of sunlight. Basking in natural daylight for 30 minutes every morning helps to create an inner calm. If people are exposed to light in the morning that mimics the wavelengths of daylight, they become better at coping with anxiety-provoking experiences. The light simply improves the communication between the regions of the brain that are central to our handling of emotions such as stress and anxiety.


Natural light during both morning and evening has been shown to increase concentration and focus. When you feel foggy or dull, try looking out the window and soak up the sun for a few minutes for a boost of alertness. Having enough natural light is especially important if you work from a home office. A naturally lit space will help you be more productive than an artificially lit work environment. Increased natural light during the day helps you sleep better, so that you’re well-rested and on the ball for work the next day.


While it’s true you shouldn’t stare directly at the sun, the light it creates it’s good for your eyes. Computer screens, smart phones and fluorescent light can cause eye strain that can lead to permanent eye damage. Natural light has been shown to lower the risk of nearsightedness in children and young adults by helping the eye produce dopamine, which aids in healthy eye development.


You don’t have to be a genius to understand this one. House plants have numerous benefits from detoxifying indoor air to boosting your mood. More natural lighting means more opportunities for growing indoor plants.


This isn’t any magical diet trick. It’s just another amazing benefit of sunlight. When we have higher levels of serotonin (triggered by sunlight) in our bodies, it suppresses appetite. Also, 2014 study published in the journal Diabetes found that ultraviolet (UV) radiation helps suppress obesity and symptoms of metabolic syndrome.


Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep and makes us tired. Sunlight slows down our body’s ability to produce it (that’s why we’re naturally sleepy at night and awake during the day). Allow yourself to sync up with nature’s clock in order to set a steady circadian rhythm for yourself. By getting enough natural light, your body’s inner clock will get on track, giving you a better night’s sleep and more energy during the day. 

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