Given recent events, no matter where you are, you’re probably stuck at home. Whether you’re working from home or just chilling, you might be struggling to adapt to your new home life. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and mental wellbeing is paramount to getting along to being in one place for so long. Many people don’t realize the role that lighting plays on health and wellness, but we’re experts at lighting, so join us for some tips on how you can improve your health at home with light.
In our present reality, you’ll always be exposed to artificial light. It’s one of the things that allows us to go about our daily lives and activities. This light in our daily spaces is one of the biggest factors that affects our mood and our mental and physical health.
The main reason for this is something called the Circadian Rhythm. This is the 24-hour biological cycle in all living things affecting everything from sleep, to hunger, to overall health and wellbeing. However, this cycle is hypersensitive to light both natural and artificial, which is why the light around us has such a massive effect on our mood and overall health. Everything from the brightness, color and even the placement of the lighting surrounding us changes the way we sleep, feel, eat, and even think.
The best lighting for health is obviously the sun, so make sure to open your windows every now and then and get those nice warm rays. Other than that, the effectiveness of our lights contributes to the circadian rhythm. Research shows that adequate levels of light improves mood and energy levels, but poor use of lighting directly contributes to depression, anxiety, lack of concentration and energy, and lack of appetite.
Brightness is an important factor here. For example, daily activities such as working from home, exercise, cooking, and housework; you want your spaces to be well-lit to promote your body’s physical health. In contrast, softer lighting is recommended to evoke feelings of relaxation and rest. The idea is to mimic natural sunlight in order to assist the natural circadian rhythm.
Likewise, color temperatures are extremely important. Warm lights, such as orange, yellow, and red hues, make environments feel more welcoming and relaxing. Cold lights such as blue and white increase energy levels, making you more alert and in turn increases productivity. However, blue light is proven to lower melatonin levels making you feel more awake; so maybe checking those last few emails before sleep hurts more than it helps. Luckily, most mobile devices offer a blue light filter feature that reduces the strain of blue lights.
In essence, keeping these principles in mind will allow you to adjust the lighting in your home to improve your wellbeing during this time of social distancing. If you own smart lighting systems in your home, we suggest you take full advantage of these tools to adjust brightness and colors in order to keep your circadian rhythm healthy. But even if you don’t, there are simple things you can do such as enjoying the sunlight, avoiding harsh bright lights at night and keeping your spaces well lit as you go about your daily activities.
Inadequate use of light, or having the light in your spaces go against your circadian rhythm, can lead to a desynchronization that contributes to negative feelings and a lack of wellbeing. Remember to use light to your advantage and make your spaces happier and healthier for yourself.