Not Getting Enough Sleep? Sit Near a Window During the Day

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

There are plenty of reasons you may not be getting a good night’s rest: you’re sleeping with your phone, you’re a bedtime procrastinator or your bedmate snores or hogs the covers. But maybe it’s because your daytime workspace is just too dark.

Researchers found a measurable difference in the length nighttime sleep between two sets of office workers: one seated near windows and the other seated far from windows or in windowless rooms. Subjects wore a device on their wrists that measured both daytime light exposure and sleep activity. The lucky workers near the windows were exposed to 173% more light during the workday and slept about 46 more minutes each night than their window-poor counterparts.

The study co-author called light “the most important synchronizing agent for the brain and body” and stressed the health benefits of daytime light exposure. So, if you have a home office, try to situate it near a window. If you can’t, at least eat your lunch or take some calls near a window and take a walk in the sun if you can.

If your out-of-home office setting is too dark, try to get your co-workers on board to rearrange the office, change the shades or invest in some full-spectrum artificial light.

Fiat lux!