“School planners have an opportunity to design lighting that supports alertness, mood and cognitive functions.”
Classrooms Optimized With Natural Daylight Increase Student Performance
Optimizing daylight as a light source in school buildings improves students’ academic performance. Daylight drives natural circadian rhythms of hormones, organs, tissues and the sleep-wake cycle. School planners have an opportunity to design lighting that supports alertness, mood and cognitive functions.
Many recent research discoveries should compel schools to specify natural interior daylight as a primary light source in classrooms, as advised by the WELL Building Standard. In 2012, the American Medical Association adopted a policy statement citing evidence that links circadian rhythm disruption to impacts on human health. To maintain properly syn- chronized circadian rhythms, the body requires periods of both brightness and darkness. Improper lighting design can lead to a drift of the circadian phase by altering the light-dark cycles to which our bodies are exposed.