No Windows at the Office? You’re in for Lousy Sleep

Do you work in a windowless office? It’s probably affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, workers who had windows at the office, and thus natural light, slept and average of 46 minutes more than workers without. Workers with less sleep also had more sleep disturbances, poorer quality sleep, and higher instances of quality of life problems (anxiety, obesity . . . the usual suspects).

Researchers studied forty-nine subjects working day-shifts at offices. Twenty-seven worked in windowless offices, and twenty-two worked in windowed offices. Subjects self-reported on sleep duration, quality, and quality of life. They also wore actiography devices, which measured exposure to light, physical activity, and sleep. Researchers found that workers in the windowed offices had 173 per cent higher exposure to light than the other workers. According to Ivey Cheung, lead author, “Light is the most important synchronizing agent for the brain and body. Proper synchronization of your internal biological rhythms with the earth’s daily rotation has been shown to be essential for health.”

So, are you getting enough light in the day? If you’re thinking “no”, then it’s time to change up your routine. Bike to work, spend more hours on the patio, or even suggest that your team takes a meeting in the park down the road. Hey, it’s for your health.

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