Shining a light on our winter blues

Missing the warmth of the summer sun? Feeling the pull of the ‘doona day’? You are not alone. Less sunlight and the onset of winter chills are leaving a lot of us feeling a little sad, but for many of us, it can be more serious.

Even though Australia is home to one of the sunniest climates on the planet, we Aussies are not immune to the effects of winter – especially the lower levels of natural sunlight associated with the winter months. Low levels of sunlight can have a significant impact on the body – so significant, it’s associated with a medical disorder known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

More than half (54%) of Australians say that they experience increased difficulty waking up in the morning in winter compared to warmer months. Similarly, 55% also have more of a tendency to oversleep in winter*, according to social researcher Mark McCrindle.

Experts tell us that natural sunlight helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycles, which can be thrown off during times where there is less daylight. This light can help facilitate the production of serotonin in the body, which in turn can help to elevate our moods.

Bringing the sunlight indoors
Cracking the code on the winter blues is actually simpler than one might think. Natural daylight can combat the effects that the shorter and colder days of winter has on our bodies. Yes, windows can let some daylight in, and so can traditional skylights. But because the sun is lower in the sky, rises later and sets earlier, the amount of sunlight we actually get in our indoor spaces is significantly restricted.

Fortunately, Solatube skylights are designed to help us combat the winter doldrums. Creating more natural light in the home is what we do every day at Solatube. Putting in a skylight can have a huge impact on a home. It can brighten moods by lighting up dark rooms naturally, can save money on energy bills, and can increase the resale value of a home or building. Harnessing natural light is an easy, eco-friendly solution for renovations and new-builds.

Simple solutions to get more light in your life

Solatube has partnered with builders, architects and interior designers to pioneer creative daylight solutions where this wasn’t previously possible. Unlike traditional forms of skylights, Solatube’s daylighting solutions don’t have the same limitations. Their INFRAREDuction technology extracts infrared wavelengths on the first light bounce before they can it be transferred through the tube, dispersing heat before it even enters the building. And you don’t need to worry about the impact of the light on furniture, paintings, fish tanks etc. Solatubes have UV and infrared filtering and provide many benefits of natural light. Solatubes also filter heat through its special INFRAREDuction technology.

Solatube’s tubular skylights, in particular, are popular with builders, as their unique technology is designed to create consistent lighting throughout the year. Standard skylight products will provide huge spikes of light and heat during the summer while often not meeting the minimum lighting requirements during the winter. Tubular Daylighting systems overcome these issues by rejecting overpowering summer sunlight and using lens systems to increase capture of winter sunlight.

Solatube skylights are simple to install, require little to no maintenance, and feature a generous warranty that provides you with the peace of mind you need to feel confident about your purchase and your installation. Plus, they can be installed on just about any type of roof without the need for expensive modifications. If you’d like to learn more about Solatube and how easy it is to add more natural sunlight to your home, visit the website at www.solatube.com.au or contact us today. If you are looking for a skylight dealer in Sydney, click here.

*July 2015 study – https://mccrindle.com.au/insights/blogarchive/winter-blues-having-real-impact-in-australia/
When “SAD” becomes serious

“SAD” can cause a wide array of physical and emotional symptoms in those who suffer from the condition, including:
• sadness
• depression
• moodiness
• fatigue
• problems with sleep, including sleeping too little or too much
• changes in appetite – most notably food cravings and weight gain

Sunlight stimulates the release of chemicals that help us regulate our sleep, stabilise our moods and ward off depression, not to mention other mood-related disturbances that can take a big toll on our lives and activities. When the sun dips lower in the sky during the winter months, we receive less natural light and our bodies respond, often resulting in the symptoms of “SAD”. Vitamin D production also drops when the body is exposed to less sunlight, contributing to mood disorders like depression. And with most of us spending a lot more time indoors during the winter, it also limits the time we spend in the sunlight.