Light is a healing force — and that’s not just a groundless claim. According to studies, light regulates the circadian rhythm of the body, controls sleep-wake cycles, and helps boost emotional health and heart function. This is why light has become one of the most important (and one of the most expensive) elements of a hospital.
Natural light is especially helpful in the healthcare setting, offering significant benefits to both patients and medical staff.
Faster Recovery for Post-Operative Patients
If your hospital uses more artificial light than natural light, maybe it’s time to redo its interior design. Perhaps install weatherproof louvres, which let sunlight in and keep rain and moisture out, giving patients privacy.
When a hospital room has enough natural light, post-operative patients feel less stressed and tend to have lower blood pressure, which means faster recovery. In windowless rooms, however, patients are more at risk of developing depression, as well as post-operative delirium.
Reduced Aggression in Alzheimer’s Patients
Ample natural light also reduces aggression in patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, as proven by a study. After exposure to natural light for two hours in a single morning, elderly Alzheimer’s and dementia patients experienced less stress and pain. The staff reduced their medication as a result.
Better Performance by Medical Staff
Natural light is not only the best medicine for patients but also the hospital staff. In one study, researchers found that access to natural light helped nurses communicate more with colleagues. They also laughed more and had lower blood pressure. The effect puts nurses in a better mood, allowing them to serve patients better.
Wherever possible, hospitals should integrate natural light into the lighting design. Not only is it light delivered at no cost, leading to long-term energy savings, but also improves the quality of life of hospital patients and staff.