Lighten up

Lighten up

Bringing the sun into your home when you need it most

Getting your daily vitamin D isn’t always as easy as it sounds. In winter months when daylight is limited and people are stuck inside all day, it’s a real dog. Even when it is nice and sunny, a chilly wind will chase a lot of people indoors – and it’s not just in winter that people get Seasonal Affect Disorder; some people just don’t have the time or are physically unable to spend time outside in the sun.

So bring the sunlight where you need it – indoors. Here are a few ways to do just that.

Invest in a sunlamp

A sun lamp will help your body produce vitamin D and regulate its sleep-wake cycle naturally. Consult your doctor first as they can have a negative impact on certain conditions. Some models can be set like an alarm clock to gradually increase their light and wake you slowly.

It’s advisable not to spend too much time using a sunlamp though; they might not have all the harmful UV of the sun but can still damage your skin with over exposure.

Put in a skylight

A skylight can really change the feel of a room. Decide where you spend most of your time during daylight – office, living room, or kitchen – and put in a skylight. You can catch stray sun rays while you work, relax or even cook.

Some skylights will light the room with very little actual sun, however, so take a look at the different types before you make a final decision.

Add a conservatory

Sometimes used as a greenhouse, conservatories these days are more commonly added on as a sun lounge, for when you want to be outside but it’s not quite warm enough. You can snuggle down with a cup of tea and catch some sun. Double glazing is a must, particularly if you’re going for full glass.

Consider keeping double doors in place between the conservatory and the rest of the house so you can close it off in cold weather to minimise heating costs. But keep it open as much as you can so that it feels like part of the house.

Before you look at conservatory prices, remember that if you’re adding a permanent extension to your home, you will have to get planning permission and an OK from all the neighbours.

Move some furniture

It really could be that simple. If your favourite armchair is in the darkest part of the room, do some rearranging. Move your spot over to the window that gets the most sun and bask. Even if it’s just 5 minutes of your day, it could make a huge difference.

Ultimately, one of these is bound to work for you. If not, grit your teeth, put on a coat and spend a few minutes of your lunch break outside – then run back in and wrap your hands around a warm cup of coffee, you’ve got your vitamin D for today.

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