How Direct Sunlight Exposure Improves Your Focus, Mood, and Creativity

5 ways sunlight optimizes your body

Steve Glaveski
6 min readMay 9, 2021


The shift to remote work has left us divided. Some of us want to remain remote forever, others can’t wait to get back to the office, and some are calling for a hybrid model. There are pros and cons of each, but one downside of working from home has consistently been overlooked — morning sunlight.

For millions of people around the world, their daily commute has been reduced to a short stroll from the bedroom to the study (or the kitchen table). While convenient, this can come at a significant cost to our mood, sleep, and focus.

The Benefits of Direct Sunlight Exposure

Sunlight has long been vilified for the deleterious effects of over-exposure, and while we must indeed be sun-smart, the WHO found that ultraviolet rays (UVR) account for only 0.1% of the total global burden of disease.

Direct-sunlight exposure (as opposed to indirect sunlight exposure through a window) plays a number of critical and foundational roles when it comes to optimizing our health and mental performance.

These benefits extend to:

  • Improved Immunity and Overall Health
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Improved Cognitive Function
  • Improved Job Satisfaction
  • Improved Sleep

Let’s unpack these one-by-one.

Improved Immunity and Overall Health

Direct sunlight exposure stimulates Vitamin D synthesis, which is fundamental to immune, bone, nervous system, lung, and cardiovascular health.

Vitamin-D deficiency has become recognized as an epidemic, and despite living in a sun-drenched country with a happy-go-lucky beach culture, one quarter of my fellow Australians are Vitamin-D deficient.



Steve Glaveski

CEO of Collective Campus. HBR writer. Author of Time Rich, and Employee to Entrepreneur. Host of Future Squared podcast. Occasional surfer.