That corner office may have two windows, but it typically comes with a whole lot of extra stress, which makes it less likely you will climb into bed at all. A good night’s sleep requires both quantity and quality – pulling an “all nighter”, on a regular basis IS NOT A HEALTH MOVE.
Opening up the window
Researchers from Northwestern University of Chicago discovered an office window is the key to workplace health and happiness.
The researchers peered into the lives of 49 day-shift office workers, 22 with a window, 27 without. Each office worker completed two sets of assessments to evaluate what their lives were like.
- The first, is known as the Short-Form 36 questionaire, considers overall quality of life,
- The second was Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), which measures the quantity and quality of sleep.
The team visited the offices and bedrooms of some of the participants. The office visit recorded the amount of light beaming in through the window. The bedroom visit was accomplished using sleep monitoring equipment.
Windows open up the world of sleep
The workers with a window ended up sleeping on average 46 minutes more per night than their windowless counterparts.
46 minutes… think how you feel when you manage to add an extra 10 minutes of sleep in the morning, by hitting the snooze button.
What would 46 minutes do for you ?
Workers with a window scored higher on quality of life – they had more get up go and more enthusiasm for life.
Windows equal ?
Windows do a few things.
- They expand your view, they can potentially green your world too. And the human brain seems to be hardwired to appreciate the colour green.
- They facilitate the exchange of air. Indoor pollution gets a chance to move out and dirt, laced with a myriad of bacteria and things, gets a chance to move in which is typically good for you.
- But the biggest upshot of an office window, is MORE LIGHT.
Into the light
The office / bedroom visits confirmed the health benefits of an office window, stemmed from the added light.
Workers squirreling away in an office with a window, received 173 percent more white light exposure during their working hours.
The increased light helps the brain keep tabs on the time of day, something that has become increasingly challenging with the advent of tablets, smart phones and the like. A brain which has aligned itself with the time of day, knows when it is the middle of the night and thus TIME TO SLEEP.
Choose your office
Having a job, even if the job has a few imperfections, like an office in a broom closet, is better than having no job.
But if you can choose, aim for an office with lots of light i.e. a big window or better still windows. In the long run, it is going to be a health move.
If you’re stuck in the back room with little to no natural light
- volunteer to run errands to catch a little sunlight and
- suggest your boss turn the office into a red light district in the afternoons
- also watch the number of cups of coffee you swig down in the late afternoon, the caffeine will give you a lift, but you will still be buzzing around your body when you’re climbing into bed.
PS. If you really can’t fall asleep, you might want to experiment with a WEE night cap.
|Windows are opening up to solar power||Shine the lights in grandpa’s eyes so he will remember more||Tired cells don’t hear insulin knocking|
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