Melatonin is a hormone in our bodies that is responsible for sleepiness. The release of melatonin sets our “internal clock” to encourage sleep, and it can be suppressed or encouraged by light colors and light intensity. Light sources with higher color temperatures reduce sleep quality compared to those with lower color temperatures, according to studies performed by the University of Connecticut. Light sources with higher intensity of artificial light can have an adverse effect on our sleep cycle.
Not surprisingly, manufacturers have begun to notice this and have started to create products with these factors in mind. Philips produces a line of “Wake Up Lights” that is a more natural alternative to alarm clocks. These lights use gradually increasing light intensity and color temperature to gently waking you up from sleep. The app f.lux reduces the “blue light” color temperature on your computer screen or smartphone to encourage less obtrusive bedtime reading (Blue lights in electronics have a stimulating effect on our bodies).
Soft, warm colored bulbs on the redder end of the color spectrum produce the best results for getting a good night’s sleep. Red or amber light doesn’t appear to suppress melatonin and sleep cycles as much as blue or white light.
So, with what we know, the best way to improve sleep and improve the production of melatonin is to limit the use of artificial lights befortoe sleeping. This can be done easily with dimmer switches, 3-way bulbs and even low wattage and red bulbs. Next, test out what method works best for you. If you’re having trouble sleeping using a high color temperature bulb, try switching it out for a warmer, softer red bulb and see if you notice a difference!
For more lighting and electrical tips contact the experts at John's Electric.