Lighting is one of easiest ways to improve overall health and well-being with minimal effort. In addition to bringing more natural ambient light in, you can also use indoor lighting to your advantage. “Light is the most critical synchronizer of our internal clock. It controls many physiological functions in our brains and in our bodies,” said Charles Czeisler, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Given the importance of light to our health, here are some easy rules to remember when incorporating better lighting into your home.
1) Cool in the day, warm at night
We generally think of daytime as warm, and nighttime as cool. But in lighting, it’s the exact opposite. In order for home lighting to positively impact our health and well-being, it needs to provide a light spectrum that acts more like the sun. At sunrise, bright, cool daylight releases cortisol to keep us awake and alert. With sunset, the warm evening glow promotes melatonin production to help us relax, unwind and prepare for restful sleep. Maintaining the regularity of this schedule is vital to our health and happiness. So, lighting designed to sync your circadian rhythm is key.
2) Lighting to wind down and relax
Light is essential for better sleep. But did you know it takes a few hours before our body begins to naturally wind down prior to bed time? Our retinas have light-sensitive cells called photoreceptors that tell our brains when it’s time to wind down at the end of each day. The absence of blue light sends a message to our suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) that it’s time to sleep. In turn, the SCN tells our pineal gland to release Melatonin, the sleep hormone. So, in addition to turning off your devices at the end of the day, invest in lighting with the right spectrum of light (like Brilli's Wind Down bulbs) to help the body naturally prepare for sleep.
3) Go blue when you need to be “on”
Blue light gets a bad rap, but we actually need blue light during the day. In the daytime, the sun emits blue wavelengths that tell the photoreceptors in our eyes to stay alert, focused and energized. In turn, we become quicker to perceive and act, and pay closer attention. Place lighting with the right type of blue light in areas of the home where you want to feel awake and alert makes sense. Like Brill's Charge Up bulbs.
4) Switch on a mood boost
Did you know that light can change the way you feel? Specific wavelengths of blue light, as well as the beauty of your surroundings, can trigger positive changes in your brain that affect your emotional responses and improve your mood. Select lighting that is tuned for both circadian benefits and light quality (like Brill's Get In Sync fixtures) to maximize the mood-improving benefits. Who knew a mood boost could be as simple as switching on a light?
Learn more about all Brilli wellness lighting at BeBrilli.com/collections