As much of the nation just experienced Daylight Savings Time, we thought it was fitting to talk about how this one “small” change to our clocks, actually has a large impact on our mind and body. Light sets, and resets our 24 hour cycle, also known as our Circadian Rhythm. When our clocks change, how and when we are exposed to light changes. There is even a study by the University of Colorado, which shows that the short-term risk of heart attacks increases by 21% during the fall, as our clocks gain an hour.
Much of the impact on one’s mind and body comes from loss of sleep. Sleep deprivation can have an impact on a variety of cognitive abilities such as attention span, stress, memory and decision-making abilities. This can all lead to an increase in accidents such as vehicle, and work-related accidents, as well as reduced productivity throughout one’s day.
Again, it all boils down to our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm regulates many important biological processes, including sleep, and is mostly controlled by external cues in the environment, such as light. Light is a key regulator of our biological clock. As clocks fall back an hour, and we enter the long winter months (at least for those of us in the Northeast!) many people also experience seasonal depression. This is mainly due to decreased exposure to natural light, and the need to adjust to shorter daylight periods. Sunlight is a key piece to a balanced circadian rhythm, and an overall healthy mind and body. As such, one of the many treatments for Seasonal Depression includes light therapy.
OLED light technology, which is the main light source used in all of Nadarra’s light fixtures, has a unique light quality, which poses no blue light risk, is free of flicker, glare, and shadows, and offers a beautifully diffused light. As mentioned, sunlight is key to a balanced circadian rhythm, and when the sun sets, especially when it sets early during the late fall and winter months, we are in need of replacement. As stated by OLEDWorks, a world-class manufacturer of OLED light panels, “sunlight provides not only a broad spectrum, but also is an environmentally friendly and sustainable light source. OLED lighting can offer all of this as well.”
The internet has a lot of advice for those suffering from the daylight savings time adjustments. Go into work after the sun is up, create a calming sleep ritual, exercise many hours before bed, and many other pieces of advice, that may or may not be attainable. However, one thing that we all need in today’s world, to accomplish tasks, communicate with others, and frankly, to simply live, is access to artificial light. We are well beyond the days of our caveman ancestors, when the only time to be productive was when the sun provided us with the light needed. A simple solution to the harsh impact of artificial light, is OLED lighting. OLED lighting is indeed artificial light. However, as mentioned, it has broad spectrum light qualities, similar to that of the sun. Consider installing OLED lights in areas where you want to be productive, such as a home office. OLED light is also dimmable, and offers an Amber color option. This option is great to induce peace and calming, and would be ideal in areas such as a bedroom or bathroom.
Let’s think outside the home. What about all of the hotels that are accommodating guests during daylight savings time, or even guests that have traveled outside of their time zone. Having a light amenity such as OLED lighting, would show that you are thinking about your guest’s health and wellness needs. An increased number of travelers are venturing around the world, for their own mental health & wellness. This is one way for hoteliers to show that they are listening to their prospective audience, and responding to their needs. Employers can take this same mentality with their employees. Installing OLED light fixtures throughout an office shows that the employee’s health & wellness is top of mind. To list another positive, exposure to natural light, or the next best thing, OLED light, has been shown to increase employee productivity.
Think how society’s health and well-being can be dramatically changed, by lighting up the dark winter months, with a broad spectrum, energy-efficient, artificial light source. A light source that is free of harsh glare, flickers and shadows. A light source, that some say, feels like sunlight.