Posted by Allyson Miller on December 9, 2020

Rx for Recovery: Daylight in Healthcare

Healthcare Applications

[Get well soon! Love, Daylight] Let's talk about the importance of daylight for our health and wellbeing…more specifically, how daylight helps us recover so we can get back to being healthy and well. 


Not that we don't love the hospital food, but let's be serious: Who wants to stay in a healthcare facility longer than they absolutely need to?! We all know doctors provide surgery and medication to help patients recover, but they're missing a vital prescription in the road to recovery. Daylight. 


Daylight RX

Daylight is absolutely critical to our everyday functioning. We take it for granted, but it helps us see our environment and perform our everyday activities. Did you know that daylight runs deeper than just illuminating our surroundings? It's one of our basic, biological needs, affecting our psychology and physiology.


Numerous studies have shown the importance of light in reducing depression, decreasing fatigue, improving alertness and balancing circadian rhythms. What's even more surprising? Adding natural light to a healthcare facility actually speeds up recovery time. Talk about full-spectrum, holistic healing. 


Healthcare Atrium with Natural Light


Four Reasons More Daylight Means Less Recovery Days


Skylights in Hospital Hallway

Daylight boosts health and wellbeing to expedite recovery by:

  • Enabling patient's performance of visual tasks
  • Controlling the occupant's circadian system
  • Boosting overall mood and perception
  • Aiding the body's absorption of chemicals needed for recovery

A retrospective study of myocardial infarction patients in a cardiac intensive-care unit treated in either sunny rooms or dull rooms found that female patients stayed a shorter time in sunny rooms (2.3 days in sunny rooms, 3.3 days in dull rooms). Mortality in both sexes was consistently higher in dull rooms (39/335 dull, 21/293 sunny).


Incorporating light into healthcare settings is not only beneficial for patients, but the staff who work there as well. With commercial daylighting, you're boosting health and wellness for all occupants and designing a space that inspires and heals, all at the same time.


Want More? Read on to find out more about daylighting design in healthcare settings.


Research Studies Cited:

Study by Ulrich, Zimring, Joseph, Quan, & Choudhary, 2004

Study by the Center for Health Design in Concord, CA

Study by Boyce, Hunter, & Howlett, 2003; Veitch & McColl, 1993

Study by Beauchemin & Hays, 1998