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› Light and Circadian Rhythm: Lighting for Well-being

Light is not only essential for our vision, but it also plays a crucial role in regulating our circadian rhythm, the “internal clock” that coordinates our body’s biological functions over a 24-hour period.

How does the circadian rhythm work?

The circadian rhythm is regulated by a cluster of cells located in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that receives light information through the eyes. This information is used to synchronize our internal clock with the Earth’s light-dark cycle, influencing a range of physiological functions, including:

  • Sleep-wake cycle: Light promotes the production of cortisol, the wakefulness hormone, while darkness stimulates melatonin, the sleep hormone.
  • Body temperature: Body temperature peaks during the day and decreases at night.
  • Blood pressure: Blood pressure is higher during the day and lower at night.
  • Metabolism: Metabolism is more active during the day and slows down at night.

How can lighting affect the circadian rhythm?

Proper lighting can help regulate the circadian rhythm and improve our overall well-being. Here are some tips:

  • Get exposure to sunlight during the day: Spending time outdoors during daylight hours helps synchronize the circadian rhythm with the natural light-dark cycle.
  • Avoid exposure to blue light in the evening: Blue light, emitted from computer screens, smartphones, and tablets, can suppress melatonin production and disrupt sleep.
  • Use warm, relaxing lighting in the evening: Warm, dim lighting can help promote relaxation and sleep.

Lighting for well-being

Lighting companies can play an important role in promoting people’s well-being by developing lighting solutions that help regulate the circadian rhythm. For example, they can:

  • Produce lamps that simulate sunlight: These lamps can be used to increase light exposure during winter days or in dark climates.
  • Develop smart lighting systems that automatically adapt to the needs of the human body: These systems can adjust the color temperature and intensity of light based on the time of day and activities being performed.
  • Collaborate with architects and designers to create optimally lit environments.

In conclusion, light is a fundamental element for our well-being, and proper lighting can help regulate the circadian rhythm and improve our quality of life. Lighting companies have a responsibility to develop innovative solutions that contribute to creating a healthier and brighter world.