Have you been outside today?

Researchers from the Lighting Research Center in New York have found that a good dose of morning light — from either the sun or an artificial source — makes office workers sleep better and feel less stressed and depressed, compared to those subjected to low light.

Scientists confirm we need exposure to light during the day that’s between 1000-2000 lux to keep our body clocks ticking over. However, most of us work indoors. A brightly lit room measures about only 500 lux compared to 10,000 lux outdoors in the early morning and 100,000 lux at noon.

Which means?

You should get outside first thing the morning to stimulate your brain – and again at lunchtime.

In winter, when it may still be dark when you rise, bright blue artificial light, or a light box, is beneficial.

Without exposure to bright light during the day, your sleep-wake cycle is disrupted. It can also affect your mood, energy and alertness. It explains why some people are prone to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter months.

Our eyes become less sensitive to light as we get older, so older people need to be exposed to three to five times more light than younger people. Make sure you get outdoors each day to keep your biological clock ticking along.