Lighting for a Healthy Circadian Rhythm | About Space

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Lighting your way to a healthy circadian rhythm

Home lighting may affect your well-being more than you realise. It can certainly help to improve how you feel. You may think this is a bold statement coming from a lighting retailer, but with incontrovertible evidence supported by the experts, there’s good reason to look at home lighting in a whole new light.

On bright days, we humans seem to be happier, and when dark days descend, they can have the opposite effect. We’re also far more likely to be fearful in the dark, but when daybreak comes, those problems don’t seem quite so big. Why is this?

Well, actually, it’s genetic. We’re programmed to respond to light. We wake when it gets light and we sleep when it’s dark. This is all regulated by our circadian rhythm, also known as our body clock. 

It’s so important that each and every cell in our bodies has its own circadian rhythm. Shift workers and those who travel lots, regularly experience adverse effects. If you’ve ever had jet lag, you’ll know that feeling! Sleeping, activity, entertainment and waking at the right level of light all help to reset our body clock. When daylight savings time rolls around, it can play havoc with us all. 

Wouldn’t it be good if we could turn on a sunrise at the touch of a button? Or adjust the light in the room so that it’s more conducive to entertaining, or mimics a sunset lighting scheme before bed?

Well, you can!

Man relaxing in bed under warm lighting while dog sits on the floor

Programming light for your well-being

Our overall positivity can be affected by light. It’s well researched and well documented that, during the winter months, some people have a severe reaction to the lack of light, commonly known as SAD (Seasonal Adjustment Disorder). 

Winter is naturally depressing, and for people suffering from the effects of SAD, light treatments are used to boost their sense of well-being. It’s even been discovered that wounds that occur during the day heal faster than wounds acquired in the evening. Even if you’re a cynic (after all, there are more doctors on hand in the daytime), the findings explained that human skin cells in a petri dish recovered sooner in lit conditions, which researchers stated was a result of circadian rhythms.

Ask any real estate agent and they’ll tell you homes sell faster when viewers find a light bright home, and at About Space, our customers tell us how good they feel with great new lights. It makes perfect sense to light our homes with humans in mind. 

How to improve your wellbeing with the right lighting

Bright white bedroom with grey chair

There are a bunch of quick wins to lighten your life and boost your wellbeing. By getting more control over your lighting levels, you can easily enhance your health and happiness.  

Making your lighting as variable as possible.

Control the amount of lighting with a dimmer

Light stimulates our sympathetic nervous system, making us more alert, while warmer evening light triggers our parasympathetic nervous system, making us more relaxed. So if you have the ability to adjust your lighting, you can also adjust your own states of rest and arousal. 

It could be as simple as having the right blinds or curtains on your windows, or installing a dimmer switch to adjust the lighting and mood as needed. This is especially important in bedrooms, where bright lights can interfere with sleep patterns. Dim the lights or use energy-efficient bulbs in the bedroom to help you relax, and avoid staring directly into blue-light emitting devices, such as your phone or TV, too close to bedtime.

Use bright cool lighting when you need to be alert  

Bright cool lighting stimulates the brain and increase serotonin levels. If you need to focus, you’ll want your lights to be bright and 4000K+. Consider installing bright LED lights at a higher Kelvin in any room where you need to be alert, such as a home office. The closer to 5000K-6500K the closer to daylight your lights will be, and the more alert you will be.

Add task lighting to avoid eye strain

For any areas where it’s really important to see what you’re doing, such as the kitchen, the bathroom or a reading nook, insert task lighting to avoid eye strain and headaches. Task lighting could be a well-placed reading lamp, a wall light installed above a bathroom mirror, or strategically placed track lighting

Stylish room with table, chairs, bookshelf and large window.

Show off your favourite things with accent lighting

If museums can do it, why can’t you? You may not have a priceless work of art on the wall, but you can still use accent lighting to show off your favourite pieces.  Track lighting is perfect for this. Showing off your favourite pieces will make you happier, sparking joy when you look around at your space. 

Staircase with warm lighting and large painting

How to get the right lighting for a healthier and happier home

The team at About Space are experts in ambient, task and accent lighting solutions. We can help you find the perfect mix to create a space that not only looks great, but also boosts your wellbeing. Get in touch to find out more. 

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