Health Benefits of Sunlight – Natural Light, Part II

by Rachel Laurendeau on May 10, 2012

Over the past couple of decades, the sun has gotten a pretty bad reputation and many people have taken to hiding away from it. However, in recent years, research has shown that natural sunlight in moderation can actually be good for you. Since the majority of us spend most of our days indoors at work or at home, finding ways to add natural light to our interior spaces is vital.

There are a number of home improvements that add light to your home such as putting in skylights, replacing old windows for larger updated models, or even having a sunroom addition built on to your home. Obviously, adding a sunroom would give you the greatest amount of light and it will also add square footage to your home and could potentially increase it’s resale value.

Here are a few of the health effects that can benefit from natural sunlight:

Vitamin D – Sunlight stimulates the body to produce vitamin D which has been proven to offer protection from some cancers, osteoporosis, rickets and diabetes and is critical to help the body’s immune system work properly. Vitamin D also enhances overall wellbeing. It is thought that as little as 10 minutes of sun exposure per day may be enough to prevent deficiencies.

SAD –According to Mental Health America (MHA), seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder associated with depression and related to seasonal variations of light. SAD affects half a million people every winter from September to April peaking in December, January and February. A milder form of SAD, the “Winter Blues”, may affect even more people. MHA suggests that for some cases of SAD, spending time outdoors or arranging your home or workplace to receive more sun can be a helpful treatment.

Psoriasis – Psoriasis is a common skin disease which forms thick scales with itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful. According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, brief, daily exposures to small amounts of sunlight may improve psoriasis. A word of caution though, intense sun exposure can worsen symptoms and cause skin damage.

The increased exposure to natural light that you’d receive in your sunroom would not only provide health benefits, hiring general contractors to build a sunroom addition onto your house will help you create a cozy, relaxing room in your home where you can spend hours enjoying yourself with your family and friends.

Note: if you suffer from any of the above illnesses, please speak to your doctor. This blog post is not meant to help you diagnose or treat any illness.

If you found this blog post interesting, you may also like Skylights – Natural Light, Part I, Bring the Outdoors In With a Sunroom Addition, or stay tuned for Part III of the series.

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