March is finally here and I can officially start calling it springtime. It has not felt like it tho with the grey skies and the chilly wind! Having my daily walks around the block keeps reminding me of late autumn-pre wintertime with no signs of spring yet. The storm we had a couple of weeks ago seems to have shifted something in the air, don’t you think? I wrote it in the blog last year, but this is the time when winter is fighting spring. Spring always wins at the end, but it does not stop winter from trying, so if it helps you with feeling motivated in life, take it.
The most exciting part of the spring is the daylight. Earlier sunrise, later sunset, it feels like we can finally start enjoying the day more. Waking up feels slightly easier with lighter mornings and after finishing your normal working day, you can still get an hour or two soaking the daylight in (not you- afternoon shift or long hour workers). I definitely notice energy levels rising and it is exciting to start planning some trips around the country (or abroad). So why do we get happier with longer days/ more daylight?
- It increases D vitamin production in your body. I have already written a blog about D vitamin importance for our bodies, but to sum it up, it is one of the most important vitamins needed for energy, normal immune and nervous system function. It helps to reduce certain cancer risks, heart diseases, bone loss etc. Most of the D vitamin you get is from sunlight (spring to early autumn time), daylight, certain foods and supplements. D vitamin reduction is connected with various deficiencies in the body, improper diet and sitting indoors the whole day. So whenever the chance-get outside and feel the light.
- Seasonal affective disorder. Most of us have heard of it, but not everyone has experienced this. Thankfully, nowadays people are more aware of the effects that seasonal changes bring, especially when the weather is grey, cold and generally not welcoming, so more tools and help is available to manage it better. Seasonal affective disorder is the type of depression that is associated with changes in seasons- most people feel the effects during the winter (there is a minority that gets affected more during summertime). Low mood, irritability, longer sleep hours and craving sugary foods are common symptoms. Therefore, for the majority of people, the way to improve it is by getting out in the sunlight and soaking that positivity in your cells.
- Satisfaction, performance and productivity. There have been a few studies done on company employees being more productive, alert and generally happier in more daylit spaces, as well as students performing better in classrooms where more light is available. That is one of the reasons why I love our reception area so much as the windows are massive and every bit of sunlight or simple daylight gets right in. The best seats are the ones just next to the windows-heats you right up!
- The reason light is so important is that it sets our circadian rhythm, or body clock, via specialised light sensors within the eye. Our eye detects the light and dark cycle within our environment and adjusts accordingly. So your body recognises when it is dark, you shall be sleeping, but when the light appears- it is time to wake up and be productive. Unfortunately, nowadays, things can be very confusing for the brain as we wake up when it is still dark, we use electrical devices when it is evening time, which is part of the reason why people are struggling with sleep these days.
- Financial aspect. With the energy prices rising this year, we have to admit that spring-summer and early autumn time is definitely cheaper than a cold full-on heating mode winter with electricity running almost non-stop, as the daylight lasts only a few hours. I received my annual Bulb price increase email and was shocked! I shall save my money for the next winter to keep my flesh nice and cosy.
- Environmental effect. Using natural daylight more has a positive effect on the dependency on fossil fuels as well as reduces combustion of greenhouse gases. Lighting is one of the largest consumers of electricity and one of the biggest causes of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, so spring until the early autumn time seems like a better time to save the planet.