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If you feel tired all the time, but still find it hard to fall asleep at night, your cubicle may be to blame. Research at Northwestern University found that workers who didn’t have a window nearby – or a source of natural light – slept 47 fewer minutes a night, on average – compared to those who worked near a window. That’s because exposure to natural light helps synchronize our circadian rhythm, and boosts production of the sleep hormone melatonin at night.
So, what can you do if you work in a windowless office, shopping mall, factory, hospital or casino?
Lead researcher Dr. Phyllis Zee recommends spending at least a half hour a day outdoors – or by a sunny window – so you get the natural light you need to sync your hormonal rhythms with day and night. You’ll feel less daytime sleepiness – and be more ready for sleep at night.