Mental Health & Natural Light: How 3M Window Film Supports This Positive Correlation
During Mental Health Awareness Month, we’ve heard many things we can do to support our well-being.
Go for a walk. Eat a nutritious meal. Talk to a therapist.
However, when we’re struggling with our frame of mind, it can be a challenge to do anything. That’s why we need to create an environment that enriches our mental health. Maintaining a positive environment can mitigate downswings in our moods and help lift us up when we inevitably have an off day. A key element of a positive environment is natural light.
How Natural Light Impacts Mental Health
Natural light affects our mental health on a chemical level. Numerous studies, such as one conducted by Ph.D. students at Monash University Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, show that natural light impacts mood and sleep quality. As a result, a sunlight deficiency can lead to depression and trouble sustaining restful sleep.
Ensuring home and work environments foster natural light can help mitigate these mental health issues. However, solar energy also imposes adverse side effects on building occupants, such as uncomfortable temperatures, glare, and sun damage. Balancing the need for natural light for mental health purposes with these challenges can prove difficult. Fortunately, 3M Sun Control Window Films provide the perfect compromise.
Natural Light Without the Negative Effects of the Sun
3M Sun Control Window Films permit the passage of natural light into your home or commercial space while simultaneously mitigating the sun’s adverse effects, including excess heat, glare, and UV damage. Although window treatments can address these solar challenges, they do so at the cost of natural light and outdoor views. 3M Window Films do not necessarily eliminate natural light or obstruct views of the outdoors.
3M Window Films help regulate interior temperatures by rejecting solar heat in the summer. The film accomplishes this without eliminating natural light due to its spectrally-selective capabilities. For example, 3M Prestige Series Window Films filters out up to 97% of heat-causing infrared rays (900-1,000nm) while still permitting up to 70% of visible light into your space. This improved temperature regulation increases occupant comfort and improves the efficiency of heating and cooling systems.
While natural light exposure is essential for mental health, there can be too much of a good thing. An overabundance of light leads to glare, either cast across technology screens or reflecting off of the window itself. 3M Window Films with a darker tint help mitigate uncomfortable glare. The film reduces glare without blocking outdoor views or eliminating natural light like window treatments. A portion of sunlight is still transmitted through the window.
All 3M Window Films, regardless of their visible light transmittance, block up to 99% of ultraviolet (UV) rays. As a result, the film provides an invisible shield to help protect interiors from fading and occupants’ skin from sun damage without impacting views of the outdoors.
Foster Natural Light for Mental Health with 3M Window Films
As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, consider ways you can support your well-being going forward. The environment in which we live and work impacts us more than we realize, so creating spaces that enrich our mental health can passively improve our frame of mind. Contact EPD for a free consultation, and we’ll help match you with the perfect 3M Window Film for your space.