Does Healthy Lighting Improve Mental Health?
Light is essential to sustain life. The world cannot function without it and humans are no different either. While we are well aware of how light is important to make crops and plants grow, many of us are unaware of the relation between lighting and our mental health.
We have light from natural sources like the sun and moon and then we have light from bulbs. However, there have been many claims about healthy lighting boosting our mental health, which is why we decided to dig a little deeper and explain to you how this theory is actually true.
What is healthy lighting?
Healthy lighting is the one that isn’t too harsh, doesn’t disrupt the circadian rhythm, and allows our sleep-wake cycle to remain normal, which in turn allows us to feel more relaxed, calm and helps us stay in a better mood.
How Lighting Affects our Mental Health?
Here we will discuss the effects of different lights on our mental health.
Outdoor Lighting/ Sunlight
Let’s make one thing clear, sunlight is a natural source of light and it is extremely beneficial for the human body as it promotes the production of vitamin D, enhancing our immunity and overall well- being.
Reduced access to the sun (healthy lighting) has been correlated with a decrease in the serotonin rates, which may contribute to severe seasonal depression. The light-induced properties of serotonin are caused by sunlight that passes directly into the eye. So, getting 2-3 hours of sunlight daily should be compulsory to notice to clear the boost in your mood.
Indoor Lighting / Blue Light
Prior to the advent of the light bulb, our circadian patterns were well aligned with the daylight, so the nighttime light interference was small. Artificial illumination is common in many areas of the world today.
For starters, street lights help us see in the dark at night and overhead lights help facilities work through the night. We also have TVs, laptops, and cell phones, and almost everyone has access to them.
Lights from gadgets
Our gadgets and technological devices have their own light that is known as blue light and this light has more energy in the blue part of the spectrum. However, our biological system happens to be very sensitive to this light.
The blue light is fine for us during the day as it promotes our memory, attention, and energy levels. But this light also hinders the release of melatonin in our brains, which results in poor sleep quality and leads to adverse mental health issues.
Therefore, it is generally recommended not to use blue light during the night as it messes up with your circadian rhythm and mental health. People are advised to turn on the dark mode in their gadgets and use lights with warmer hues during the night. As warmer hued lights are known to be better for uplifting mood and regulating the circadian rhythm.
Blue lighting should be avoided during the night and lights with warmer tones should be used in your house bulbs and gadgets when you want to relax. The blue light should only be limited during the day as it helps you stay focused.
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