One of the most common problems that people experience throughout their lives is lack of sleep, poor quality of sleep or being tired. This is a problem that the majority of people will experience with differing severity; for some it will be an ongoing issue that affects their day to day life.
There are many different remedies you can try to rectify this: warm milky drinks before bed, reading, meditation (to name a few), but a lot of people don’t realise that it could be as simple as changing your lighting.
Research has shown that light is one of the most significant factors affecting sleep and circadian rhythms. Charles A. Czeisler, MD of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School noted that ‘light affects our circadian rhythms more powerfully than any drug’. So what is it about lighting that is so important to the quality of our sleep and what changes can we make in our homes to reap the benefits?
How does it work?
The light from the sun interacts directly with our brains, telling us when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to be alert. The wavelengths that the sun emits sends signals to our brains through the cells in our eyes which in turn control our circadian rhythm. As the sun rises and sets the light becomes more and less intense, changing through a colour cycle from dusk until dawn.
When looking for images of a sunrise or a sunset you are met with photographs of soft, warm scenes. The glow from the sun at these times is completely different to that of a full shine in the afternoon which is bright and clear. This change in light controls our brains and is vital to an effective sleep pattern at the end of each day.
How is it used?
A great example of this research in action happens every day on Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The on-board lighting on this aircraft follows pre-set cycles specialised specifically for flights that cross time zones. The LED lighting is controlled by the crew to transition through the different phases of the flight and of a passenger’s sleep-wake cycle.
Whilst eating, the lights become warm and calming to ease you into rest and relaxation once your food is taken away. When passengers are waking up for their breakfast the lights transition between numerous warm colours using orange and yellow tones imitating a sunrise, all in order to alleviate the dreaded jet lag.
How can LED lighting help me in my home?
New LED lighting technology has become so advanced that it is possible to mimic the colour temperature of the sun and change your lighting scheme throughout the day to positively impact both your sleep and overall wellbeing in your own home. Starting the day with warm temperatures, moving to cool white in the afternoon when you need to be alert and ending the day in the same warm tones can have huge health benefits.
TLW | The Lightworks have a range of colour temperature changing products, including LED tape, under cabinet lights, remote controls, wall switches and app-powered products that can be controlled with great ease at any time of the day.
Our lights can transition from warm white (3000K) all the way to daylight (6000K) and anything in between, allowing you to effectively replicate a rising, full and setting sun to help control your circadian rhythms and ensure you get the best night’s sleep possible.
For more information about our range of colour temperature changing products please contact the TLW team on 01302 238129 or email us here.
Inspiring lighting from TLW | The Lightworks