Got your sights set on snagging the corner office, the one with the big picture windows? Step into this office and you can almost hear the angels signing, “Welcome to the big leagues, you’ve arrived!” Turns out, that coveted corner office might also be the healthiest spot in your office, when it comes to your sleep at least.
Did you know how much natural light you’re exposed to regulate your natural sleep/wake cycle – circadian rhythm – and can affect your appetite, mood, productivity and health?
Trouble is, most office lighting plays havoc with our inner sleep clocks, waking us when we should be tired and exhausting us when we should be at our wakeful peak.
We’ve all felt the brightly lit darkness of a minimally windowed, fluorescent-flooded workspace and now research shows why artificial light looks (and feels) so damn hideous, according to FastCompany.com. People with a diet of natural daylight are more alert during the evening while those who can’t get enough sunshine in their lives are sleepier. Even short-term afternoon lighting conditions have an impact on evening task performance, which sheds some light on the 4 p.m. slump—we’re not getting enough sun.
Humans have been walking the earth for thousands of years but we’ve only been exposed to artificial light for the last hundred or so. When we’re exposed to bright light during the evening – or for shift workers, overnight – our circadian rhythm is disrupted, which triggers a domino effect on our hormones. The later we work, the more electronic devices we’re exposed to – it all adds up to a dangerously unhealthy and sleep-deprived society.
So how can you protect your sleep? Kicking your boss out of his office because it’s destroying your sleep might not be your best career option. But these tips might help you be more productive during the day and sleep better at night. And keep your career intact. You’re welcome.
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