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How Skylights Can Improve Your Bedroom

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers

If you want to design a bedroom conducive to better sleep, it’s a good idea to start with the basic qualities of the space. Does it receive an appropriate amount of natural light? How does it feel to be in there, overall? Many people focus on designing the main areas of the house and put bedrooms on the back burner, but as the place where you recharge at the end of every day, your bedroom should be optimized to help you wake up refreshed and ready to go. One of the best things you can do is add skylights—a common feature in great rooms that can do so much to improve rest. Here’s why skylights make a wonderful addition to bedrooms!

VELUX Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylights

Got a loft or bonus bedroom? Don’t let it be dark! Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylights brighten this kids’ bedroom and expand the view beyond the low ceiling to make the space feel bigger. See how design expert Emily Henderson transformed this attic in this project blog!

The Power of Natural Light

In common spaces, skylights are most often employed to reduce the need for electrical lighting. That’s great for efficiency and keeping utility bills in check, but natural light does so much more. Our sleep cycle is tied to the sun, meaning our bodies have an innate body clock—the circadian rhythm—that regulates when we wake and fall asleep. We are supposed to gradually wake as the sun rises and wind down when it sets, but the artificial lights of the modern world have confused our bodies. Insomnia, difficulty waking up, and poor sleep in general have all been tied to a disruption in the circadian rhythm, and the best thing you can do to get back on track is get more natural light.

This is where skylights come in. They capture light better than windows thanks to their overhead position. No matter which way(s) your window(s) face, a skylight will slowly brighten as the sky does. Exposure to early, gradual light is the best way to reset your body clock—and it makes for a much more pleasant experience than an alarm. Wake up with the sun and you’ll start having an easier time going to bed at night, but that’s not all—studies have shown that a disrupted circadian rhythm puts you at a higher risk of a number of health problems, so maintaining a healthy sleep schedule will benefit your whole being, both physical and mental!

VELUX Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylights

High and vaulted ceilings can trap heat and stale air if they don’t have some kind of outlet. Including venting skylights will help assuage this concern. They come with a rain sensor that will promptly close them at the first hint of precipitation, so you can refresh your space without worrying about the weather.

Refreshing Ventilation

A stuffy room isn’t good for anything. Poor air quality is another major sleep disruptor, and indoor pollution is a bigger concern than many people know. Practically everything in our homes—from flooring, to paint, to furniture—can off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that build up over time. This is par for the course unless you shop extremely conscientiously to minimize the risk. So, what can you do? Regularly vent your interior and allow that stale air to disperse outside.

Skylights are optimally placed for this task as well, so consider a model that can open. There are manual, electric, and solar-powered options available to suit different needs, but they offer the same function as far as ventilation is concerned. Opening the ceiling allows warm air to move up and out, removing indoor pollutants along with it. Of course, this also provides natural climate control—another feature that can promote sleep! Cooler bedrooms are conducive to better rest because we naturally experience a dip in core body temperature in the evening; this coincides with a release of melatonin that will have you ready for bed in a couple hours. It’s all part of the circadian rhythm, and that’s why you get so restless when your bedroom is too warm—your body knows it should be cooler at bedtime thanks to its internal clock. Given that venting skylights offer a unique two-in-one solution for indoor air quality and temperature control, it should come as no surprise that they’re ideal for bedroom applications!

VELUX Skylight Shades

What a difference blackout shades make for the children's bedroom shown up top! The room is perfect for playing during the day and can easily be darkened for naps and bedtime. If you want to control the light coming inside, be sure to check out your shade options.

Intelligent Automation

Did you know that skylights can be automated? That’s right—you don’t even have to lift a finger to reap their benefits. Skylight automation can work on a timer or in response to indoor conditions. For example, you can set your skylight shades to allow light in to wake you up in the morning, and then draw closed to block heat from the midday sun. They can also open at bedtime to refresh the air and cool the room before you tuck in. If you’re into smart tech, you may prefer the hands-off solution afforded by VELUX ACTIVE; it uses climate sensors to determine the temperature and air quality in a space and then automatically adjusts the skylights to address any concerns. A healthy home environment is so important for sleep—luckily, you can build or renovate a better home that addresses common issues with skylights!

If you’re in the market for skylights for your bedroom or anywhere else in the house, take a look at VELUX®. They offer a range of products to suit all needs—everything from fixed and venting skylights, to options for the full range of roof and ceiling pitches, to room-darkening and light-filtering shades that allow you to tailor your natural lighting experience. Schedule a virtual consultation or find a local installer to discuss the possibilities for your home today!