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3 good (scientific) reasons to expose yourself to daylight

In the fascinating world of quantum physics, photons (daylight) play an essential role. But did you know that these elementary particles of light can also have a profound impact on our health, performance, concentration and even the quality of our sleep?

natural landscape with sunrise and river

Find out how photons interact with our bodies and minds, and how we can use them to improve our overall well-being.


What exactly are photons?

Photons are the elementary particles that make up light. They are present in all light sources, from the sun's rays to light bulbs. But their influence goes far beyond illuminating our environment. Photons interact with the cells in our bodies and can influence various biological processes.


1. Their impact on our health

Sunlight is the main source of photons for our planet, and plays a crucial role in our health. Exposure to natural daylight regulates our internal biological clock, known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm regulates our sleep-wake cycles, hormone release and other physiological processes. Adequate exposure to daylight can therefore promote better quality sleep, improve our mood and boost our immune system. You'll notice that when you watch the sunrise, your eyes gradually pick up the natural light, and you gently reconnect to your own rhythm. In the same way, contemplating a sunset soothes us.


2. Their effect on our intellectual performance and ability to concentrate

Light, and by extension photons, also play an important role in our cognitive performance and concentration levels. Studies have shown that exposure to bright light can boost alertness and improve mental performance. That's why health professionals recommend spending as much time as possible outdoors, even if it's only for short breaks during a day spent cooped up in an office. Going for a 5-minute walk to catch the natural light is a very good idea. On the other hand, prolonged exposure to dim artificial light can lead to fatigue and reduced concentration. That's why adequate lighting in our work and study environments is essential to maintain optimum performance levels. For example, overhead lighting is more suitable for working than a desk lamp.


3. Their impact on sleep quality :

The quality of our sleep is closely linked to our exposure to light. Photons influence the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. Excessive exposure to blue light from screens, for example, can disrupt melatonin production and lead to sleep disorders. This is why, when professionals are consulted about sleep disorders, they ask about the use of screens in the evening.

In short, photons - elementary particles of light - have a profound influence on our physical and mental health. We can therefore benefit from their power and our overall well-being. By ensuring adequate exposure to daylight, optimizing our indoor lighting, and managing our exposure to artificial light, we can regain better-quality sleep, improve our cognitive performance and maintain optimal levels of concentration. Photons are not only elements of quantum physics, but also essential players in our quest for a healthier, more balanced life.


And if you're not completely convinced by the benefits of natural light, then I invite you to take a few moments the next time you're out and about to ask yourself how you feel. Note that even when the sky is gray or cloudy, the benefits of light are the same. And we can all agree that a little sunshine would do us a world of good right now...


To find out more, here's the study Effect of Light on Human Circadian Physiology

Jeanne F. Duffy, M.B.A., Ph.D.a,* and Charles A. Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D.b,c https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2717723/ 

 

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