The UK has a sleep problem
Research by Formulate Health shows that 36% of UK adults struggle to get to sleep at least once a week. And almost 20% have trouble falling asleep every single night.
The nation’s Google searches suggest the problem worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic, with increases in the numbers of people looking up ways to fall asleep.
March is National Bed Month
National Bed Month was originally organised by the Sleep Council. Its aim was to promote the importance of a good night’s sleep and help the nation sleep better.
Getting the right amount of good quality sleep is essential for our health, happiness and wellbeing. And for that, you need the right conditions.
Sunlight is the best light for sleep
There are all kinds of advice on getting a good night’s sleep. From having a comfortable bed and a quiet room, to avoiding stimulants before bed and switching off your devices.
But, in actual fact, improving your sleep doesn’t start with your nighttime routine — it starts with your daytime one.
And to explain that, we need to look at some science.
Sunlight supports your circadian rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is essentially your sleep/wake cycle. It’s what makes you feel sleepy each night and helps you wake up refreshed each morning.
The different types of sunlight we experience throughout the day support a healthy circadian rhythm.
Morning sun energises you
Exposing yourself to early morning sunshine for at least 30 minutes is one of the most effective ways to achieve a good night’s sleep.
In the morning, the sun emits a blue range of light. This light helps your body wake up and energises you, so you become alert, attentive and focused.
Afternoon sun begins the wind-down
During the afternoon, the sunlight changes from blue to red/orange, before eventually turning to darkness as the sun sets. This process helps your body to slow down again and ultimately fall asleep.
When you’re exposed to natural light throughout the day, your circadian rhythm becomes synchronised with the sunrise and sunset.
Other benefits of a healthy circadian rhythm
A healthy circadian rhythm is good for your general health, too. It benefits your mood, immune system, blood pressure, brain function, appetite and metabolism.
Sunlight helps your body produce melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
If you’re having sleep issues relating to your circadian rhythm, taking melatonin supplements can be an effective short-term treatment.
But your body also produces melatonin naturally.
How we produce melatonin naturally
Your body’s pineal gland produces melatonin from the chemical melanin. And the melanin is produced in your skin when it’s exposed to the sun.
The problem with modern life
Early humans and their sleep patterns evolved to the natural rhythms of light and dark, from sunrise to sunset.
But today, we’re used to spending much more time indoors and without being exposed to the natural sunlight that keeps our circadian rhythms in check.
Many of us live, work, exercise and socialise indoors — all under artificial lighting that throws off our internal clocks, reduces our production of melatonin and disrupts our natural sleep patterns.
How to get more natural light
The best way to increase your exposure to natural light is to spend more time outdoors. But, for a variety of reasons, this isn’t always possible.
The next best thing is to get more light into your living area. But if you can’t install more windows, how do you achieve that?
Rooflights and roof lanterns
Rooflights and roof lanterns are alternative options for increasing the natural light in your home.
Roof lanterns are installed on flat roofs only. Their prismatic designs and angled glass catch the light from all directions and channel it into your room.
Rooflights for the bedroom
Rooflights aren’t just for living spaces — they can be a viable option for the bedroom, too. For example, they can be particularly useful if you’re converting an attic space where conventional windows aren’t an option.
Creating a restful environment for sleep
To get the best night’s sleep, the NHS recommends that your bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet. Here’s how Roof Maker Luxlite rooflights help you create these ideal conditions:
Keeping your bedroom cool
A potential problem with rooflights is heat absorption, also known as solar gain. This can happen during hot weather and increases the temperature in the room.
Luxlites are triple-glazed as standard and with our Solar glass, are specially designed to prevent solar gain. This means they keep your room cool — even on hot days.
They can also be made to open, which will help to ventilate and cool your bedroom.
Keeping your bedroom dark
You may find it harder to sleep with the moonlight pouring through your rooflight. Or there may be light pollution caused by an excess of artificial lighting near your home.
The Luxlite rooflight can be fitted with an effective blackout fabric blind to keep out unwanted light and create the dark conditions you need for sleep.
Keeping your bedroom quiet
Noise from rain, traffic, sirens or people outside can interrupt your sleep and keep you awake.
The Luxlite is specially designed to reduce outside noise and keep your room quiet and peaceful. To achieve this, it features:
- Triple glazing as standard
- Thicker panes of glass than many of our competitors
- Argon gas-filled spacing between the panes of glass
- A secure seal between the window and the roof
Looking for high-quality rooflights or roof lanterns?
Roof Maker is one of the few providers that does everything under one roof, design, manufacture and supply. The Slimline® Roof Lantern holds the patent for its ultra-slim bars, allowing maximum light into the room below.
Our premium rooflights and roof lanterns are designed to transform your room into a bright, airy space you’ll enjoy for many years to come.
If you want to introduce more natural light into your living space or bedroom and would like to find out more, call 0116 497 1252 or email [email protected] to get in touch with one of our highly experienced advisors.