Circadian wellness and smart lighting

When we think about smart lighting, we tend to think primarily about convenience. Smart lighting gives us the light we require at various times of the day without the need to manually switch bulbs on and off. But did you know that it can also be beneficial for your circadian wellness? Let’s take a look at how smart bulbs can keep your body in its natural rhythm.

What is circadian rhythm?

One of the major complaints about modern technology is that it interferes with our circadian rhythm – the natural sleep and waking cycle that helps to regulate bodily functions such as temperature, hormone production and cell regeneration. Our internal body clock resets every 24 hours or so, and input from our environment – such as the amount of light we’re exposed to – causes adjustments to be made accordingly.

Circadian wellness refers to our ability to adhere to this natural cycle in a world full of technology and distractions. It’s easy to stay up well past sunset, which is helpful in the depths of winter, but not so productive if we’re only getting a few hours’ sleep each night. A disrupted circadian rhythm is not a healthy one, which is why smart lighting can help us revert to a more natural cycle.

How does smart lighting help circadian wellness?

In the evenings, our bodies respond to fading light by producing melatonin, the hormone that prepares us for sleep. Similarly, the body evolved to use the light of the rising sun to reset the rhythm and suppress melatonin production. The degree to which this hormone is suppressed depends on the brightness and temperature of the light we’re exposed to.

If we’re exposed to bright, blue-white light at 10pm, it’s going to affect our ability to produce melatonin, preventing us from feeling tired and causing sleep issues. That’s why experts recommend ditching screens at least an hour before bed. In contrast, warm, yellow light has a much lower temperature and therefore  has a lower suppression effect on melatonin.

Smart lighting can help us stick to a more natural circadian rhythm by adjusting the temperature and intensity of the bulbs to suit the time of day. Smart home lighting installers can help you set up your lighting so that the temperature and intensity of light in your home grows through the morning to keep you alert and productive. You might start by emulating a sunrise when you need to get up before the real sun rises on winter days, with intensity at its peak between 9am and 3pm.

During the evening, the bulbs can be set to automatically shift their colour and produce a warm, soft glow that provides the light you need without unduly suppressing melatonin production. This will then help you to get a good night’s sleep.

Smart lighting is just one of the many advantages of smart home automation, and can have a positive impact on your circadian wellness. If you’d like to explore this option, chat to New Wave AV, professional smart home installers in Kent, to find out more. We serve clients in Kent, Surrey, Essex, London and Sussex, and can help you create your perfect smart home.

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