I recently found myself tuned into a programme on BBC 1 hosted by Terry Wogan, about the human body clock’s rhythms. It got me thinking about my body clock and how much time I spent in the daylight during the week and at weekends. Was my body suffering from any withdrawal symptoms that could be fixed with a bit more light?
Our body clocks are determined by our levels of a chemical called melatonin. As we get older (it comes to us all in the end) we discover that our bodies are less efficient at producing this chemical, which can often cause us to wake up during the night and have restless sleep, which in turn can make us lethargic and less functional during the day. But, what has this got to do with conservatories?
Well, the answer is simple. The most important element to setting your body clock is light. We need to register daylight to set our body clocks. More of us are seeing less daylight than we realise.
Take me as an example, at this time of year I am getting up and leaving the house in the dark and going back home when it is dark. Unless I go out during the day, to a meeting or for lunch, it is highly possible that I can go a whole day without seeing daylight at all.
Compounding this fact, as we age, our eyes themselves change. The lenses thicken and yellow deposits limit how much blue light (the most important light for our body clocks acquired from daylight) gets into the eyes.
So what is the solution? For me, it is simple. In order to help us sleep and enjoy a healthier lifestyle we should embrace as much daylight as possible. When the weather is awful, as it is at the moment, what better way to embrace natural light than to sit in a conservatory?
If you have been feeling lethargic and suffering from restless sleep, but don’t want to be outside in the cold, perhaps you could benefit from spending more time in yours?