It’s not just the view you’re missing out on: workers in windowless offices lose sleep too

12th August 2014 by Peter Hames

Sleep news Sleep science

Photo credit: Banalities via flickr

Photo credit: Banalities via flickr

Sorry, not great news if you work in an office without windows… A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, investigated daytime light exposure, sleep quality and health-related quality of life in employees who worked in windowless offices compared with those who worked in offices with natural daylight.

Those workers in windowless offices reported poorer sleep quality, greater day-to-day limitations due to physical problems and reduced vitality. The windowless workers not only had reduced light exposure during the day but also less total time asleep at night – approximately 45 minutes less.

Light has a powerful influence on the regulation of circadian rhythms in our body, and in particular the sleep-wake cycle. The light levels we’re exposed to during the day are linked to mood, productivity, and performance. This study shows how our working environment can affect us not just while we’re at work but even when we’re sleeping. Hopefully, employers will start looking at the design of workplaces to help their employees’ physical and mental well-being.

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