Written by Sarah Hastings, RW4Y
As the winter nights draw in, our homes can feel darker, so it’s important to keep them cosy. This is particularly necessary in the UK, as our dark winters mean that many people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months. While things such as taking vitamin D if deficient and spending time outside every day help SAD immensely, we can also make the colder season much more enjoyable and comfortable for ourselves by bringing more natural and artificial light into our homes to ensure that we adjust better.
Here, the window experts RW4Y will take you through some measures you can implement in order to prepare your home for darker nights and make your home as comfortable as possible this winter.
Maximise window space
While the nights are getting darker, you can still welcome as much natural light into your home as possible by making sure that you have enough windows installed. Houses that are older and haven’t been renovated, or houses that don’t have many south-facing windows, might need some extra help in this area. As well as ensuring that you’ve installed any windows where you’d like them, you can look at what curtains you’re using. If you are leaving thick curtains up during winter, this might be keeping out extra light that could help you wake up.
Try replacing your summer curtains with thinner ones in your bedroom so that you’ll be able to maximise your exposure to the first sunlight when it does come through. Then, make sure your curtains are fully opened during the daytime so that you get as much sunlight as possible.
Add some lamps and candles
When you wind down in the evening, it’s nice to change the lighting to help you relax. Daylight makes us feel more awake due to the way it impacts our production of melatonin and other hormones. So having warmer, dimmer lighting in your home can make the darker evenings instead feel nice and calming before you drift off to sleep.
This can be achieved with placing smaller light sources around your home, and using warmer bulbs in them to give off a more yellow-tinged light that doesn’t make you feel more alert. Lamps are also great to really set off a room’s décor and make a rather empty room into one with features. You can also add some nice candle holders and light some candles as extra lighting, as these bring a warming atmosphere and go with more wintery décor.
Invest in sunlight lamps
If you are one of the many people who finds the darker nights difficult, you might want to consider buying a sunlight lamp to help you adjust to the season. There are many options with these lamps, and some can be put on timers and will wake you up in the morning with light that mimics a sunrise, allowing you to feel more awake earlier in the day as your body is stimulated by the light. Many of these gadgets can also help you drift off to sleep with light that mimics a sunset too, so they might be worth investing in if you struggle to regulate your sleep cycle during the winter.
There are also more simple sunlight lamps that can be placed next to your desk as you work which mimic the light given off by the sun to help you feel more awake and productive throughout the day. You can use them for 30 minutes up to an hour per day, and at any time of day — though it’s most useful to use them before lunchtime to increase your alertness in the morning.
Add cosy accessories to rooms
Once you’ve looked at how to maximise the natural light in your house and set up a sunlight lamp for those days you’re really struggling, it’s worth making your house more cosy with finishing touches as well. What defines ‘cosy’ will be different for everyone, but it will probably include adding some cushions, blankets, and cosy furnishings to your house.
You can also try some aromatherapy to both help you feel energised during the day and settle down at the right time at night. Mood-boosting scents such as citrus, lemongrass, and peppermint are all great options for earlier in the day, while your evenings can be more calming with lavender. A diffuser can really make a comforting addition to any home.
“When you are preparing for winter, the most important thing to do first is ensure that you are maximising the natural light throughout your home during the day. Roof windows are a great option for bringing in more natural light if you don’t have space to install more windows in your walls.
“These windows bring the benefit of letting in large amounts of natural light without taking up wall space, and the light they let in remains fairly constant throughout the day because they are not facing a particular direction on the compass. Darker spaces such as lofts will especially benefit from them. Another option might be to install light tunnels, which can increase the amount of natural light in the home without making space for more windows.
“You might also want to think about what rooms you spend time in at what times of day. South-facing rooms will get much more light during the day, even in winter, so it’s worth spending more time in the south-facing side of your house if you have one. If you work from home, it might be worth moving your desk into a room that is south facing to help you be more productive.”
About the brand:
RW4Y is part of the FAKRO group, one of the fastest-growing roof window manufacturers in the world. With over 27 years of experience in innovating and designing products, including roof windows, roof window blinds, and loft ladders, the brand knows a thing or two about producing high-quality fittings that not only do the job well but look great while they’re doing it.
To find out more, visit: https://www.roofwindows4you.co.uk/