New research shows that a lack of exposure to natural light not
only leads to an increase in depressive symptoms but also results
in a lower quality of sleep.
Researchers wanted to test the effects of natural light on people’s
feelings and sleep patterns. To do this, they gave twenty office
workers special watches that measured exposure to light. These participants
were separated into two groups - “with window” and “without window.”
They wore these watches for seven days, and on the final day of
the experiment, each worker gave three saliva samples - one in the
morning, the afternoon, and at night.
After analyzing the results, the researchers made a few findings.
First, the “with window” group, which unsurprisingly received more
light than the other group, had lower levels of cortisol, a hormone
that is connected with psychiatric disorders and depression, than
the “without window” group. Second, the “without window” group had
lower nighttime levels of melatonin, a hormone that is produced
in the evening when the sun goes down and makes us feel sleepy at
night, than the “with window” group. The researchers posit that
artificial light, like computer screens and light bulbs, tricks
our brains into delaying the release of melatonin. The shortage
of this hormone causes less fulfilling sleep.
This experiment shows that in order to avoid feeling down and out
in the winter, try getting some more natural light, even if it means
just sitting next to a window. You will feel happier and sleep better,
1. What did researchers study about?
2. What were the results of the research?
3. What did the experiment show?
1. Which side, hall or window, do you seat in your classroom?
2. What other benefits can we get from natural light?
3.Do you think getting more natural light will make you feel happier? Why or Why not?