Windowless work spaces can cause sleep deprivation

Windowless work spaces can cause sleep deprivation

Chamomile tea, a warm glass of milk before bed and removing all electronic devices from your bedroom – these strategies for combating insomnia could become redundant as experts have revealed the real secret to a good night’s sleep could lie in where you sit at work.

Windowless office rooms can cost workers 46 minutes of sleep a night according to new research from the University of Illinois, Northwestern University in Chicago and the Hwa-Hsia Institute of Technology in Taiwan.

Those sitting next to a window can also expect a less disrupted sleep pattern.

The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, has shown that sitting at a desk space with little exposure to light can lead to less sleep, as light-deprived employees may find their body's internal clock left out of sync.

Researchers claimed that better designed offices could boost the physical and mental health of workers, adding that regular sleepless nights can lead to serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart problems and diabetes.

Sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley emphasised the need for natural daylight over artificial lighting.

“The problem with office lighting is that it is not made up of 'blue' light, which is the wavelength of light you get from the sun and which controls your body clock. So you could have a very well lit office but it does not have the same effect because it's artificial and does not contain blue light,” he said.

49 office employees were recruited for the study, with just over half spending the day in a windowless environment and the rest frequently exposed to daylight through windows.

Those most exposed to ‘work-time light’ enjoyed, on average, an extra 46 minutes more sleep per night than their light-deprived colleagues, and were more likely to exercise.

Comments (1)

  • Michelle L
    Michelle L
    Wed, 6 Aug 2014 10:38am BST
    I would be inclined to agree with this study, as someone who spent 2 years in an office with no natural light at all and an appalling sleeper, I moved jobs 9 months ago where I was in an office with a window, and now a seat next to the window, my sleep pattern has improved drastically. I am not going to go as far as to say this has been the sole reason for the change in my sleeping, but could go some way to explain it.....interesting to know!

Most Read

Guide to Outplacement and Career Transition

Guide to Outplacement and Career Transition 2016

Thank you for being a valued reader

To continue enjoying news and offers, direct to your inbox and online, pop your business email in the box below. Read more about why you need to register.

We would like you to become part of HR Grapevine and join the most engaged online communities of HR Professionals in the UK. Thousands of HR Professionals just like you have already registered with HR Grapevine and we would like you to join in - its FREE!

However, an EU regulation coming our way means that to continue hearing from us, you will need to become a registered user. No matter the outcome of BREXIT, this regulation will apply to us while we remain in the UK and perhaps beyond.

Access across the HR Grapevine site will continue to be free of charge once you register.

Every reader we retain, is very important to us, and we would appreciate you taking the time to Register with us now.

* By registering you agree that you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions and that Executive Grapevine International Ltd and our partners may contact you regarding relevant content and products.

Related Insights

HR Grapevine Magazine Latest Issue

Magazine Features

Read More