Light Sleepers: How Light can impact sleep, health and happiness
What if we told you that a few simple changes to your daily lighting routine could help transform your mood and overall wellbeing?
Similar to your 5-a-day diet or daily dose of Vitamin D, achieving the right types of light in your home or workplace can have a profound impact on your general health, mental well-being and happiness. In this blog, we will explore the positive benefits of attuning to your body's natural clock, the importance of lumens and kelvins, and quick tips to a healthy home.
Your body's natural clock.
Have you ever wondered why your energy levels seem to surge at certain hours and dip at others? Much of it is down to your body’s circadian rhythm. This internal 24-hour biological clock dictates why you feel energetic during specific hours and drowsy at others.
According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, our circadian rhythms influence the sleep-wake cycle, hormone release, digestion, body temperature and other key functions. If your body clock is disrupted, it will conflict with the next cycle and result in a greater struggle to fall asleep or wake up.
Consistency is paramount to good sleep, and your subsequent mood – as any new parent will attest to.
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Knowing your Lumens from your Kelvins
Lumens and Kelvins are the fundamental measurements of light, and knowing these terms will empower you to select the most suitable lighting solutions for your needs. A higher lumen count is ideal for task-oriented lighting, providing the brightness required for focused activities. Meanwhile, the lower the Kelvin count the warmer and cosier the atmosphere.
Tala light sources typically scale from 2200K for warm, ambient tones, to 2800K, for brighter and bluer light that helps with performing functional tasks. With this knowledge, you can transform your living spaces, making them both functional and inviting, simply by choosing the right light for the right purpose.
Boost your mood with brighter mornings.
Improving your mood through lighting is a powerful concept. Bright light exposure in the morning can enhance your serotonin levels, the "feel-good" neurotransmitter. The best form of this is natural daylight, but you can recreate the effect through smart lighting or with Dim to Warm light sources and sensitive dimming systems.
The Sphere range is designed for this very function. As soon as your alarm sounds, turn on your bedside table lamp or bedroom pendant light to its lowest setting and allow your eyes to acclimatise to the day. Avoid blue light from your phone screen, laptop or television until your body has adjusted.
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The dimmer the better.
As day transitions into night, it is essential to create a relaxing atmosphere in your space, so lowering the light levels signals to your brain that it's time to unwind and de-stress.
This can be achieved by employing gradual dimming features in your lighting setup to help you transition easily from high function activity to a sleep-ready state.
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High-Kelvin light sources may be disrupting your sleep.
Many homes and workspaces are now equipped with high-Kelvin spotlights and downlights. These lighting fixtures offer ample illumination for functional and efficient spaces. However, it is important to note that they can have a significant impact on your body clock and physical well-being, due to how they can impact your sleep.
These lights emit a bluish-white light, which mimics the natural light of midday. While this may seem advantageous during daytime hours, the problem arises when these lights are used in the evening. Exposure to such bright, cool-toned light in the evening can trick your body into thinking it is still daytime, suppressing the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for promoting sleep. This disruption in your body clock not only affects your ability to fall asleep but can also lead to poor sleep quality and a host of associated health issues.
1. Avoid hidden flickering, common in low-quality LEDs. Flickering light can cause eye strain, headaches, and even migraines. Use your smartphone camera to detect invisible flicker in your lights, and upgrade as necessary.
2. Reduce your blue light consumption, especially immediately before and after sleep. To reduce the temptation, place your phone or laptop on charge at least 30 minutes before bedtime, and leave it outside of the bedroom until you’ve fully woken up and started your day.
3. Prioritise natural daylight to boost serotonin levels and ensure consistent, comfortable sleep environment.
Make the switch to lighting that works in harmony with your body's natural clock and embark on a journey to a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Your path to improved sleep starts with a simple change in your lighting choices.