Wednesday, March 1, 2023 / Newsletter Live in your best light Maintain circadian rhythm during DST February 2023 Live in your best light Kichler A healthy circadian rhythm improves sleep, wellbeing Don't let Daylight Saving Time leave you in the dark All living things depend on light to survive, but did you know that the light you are exposed to throughout the day (and night) can affect your health? With Daylight Saving Time beginning soon for most states in the U.S. (exceptions are Arizona and Hawaii) as well as much of Canada, it is important to know the best way to utilize the amount of daylight you are exposed to each day. Living beings experience 24-hour sleep/wake cycles called circadian rhythms. That simply means that people need bright days and dim/dark nights to match what their body expects. Recent lighting research finds that people are at their best when exposed to bright light early in the day and dimmer light in the late afternoon and evening. That kind of light "dose" has to be experienced daily to maintain the circadian rhythms, which can improve sleep and overall health and wellbeing. However, in today's world, that natural day/night cycle may be tough to achieve. Many people spend their days inside working in offices, stores, or homes. With Daylight Saving Time beginning March 12, internal clocks will be disrupted, especially for people who will be starting work while it’s still dark outside, staying inside during the day, and then possibly going to bed when it’s still light outside. The use of video screens and artificial light sources in the evening means that many people's light exposure may be continuously dim or dark. The good news is that research shows we can use electric light sources to provide exposure to the right levels of light at the right times throughout the day to help maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. Recent lighting research finds that people are at their best when exposed to bright light early in the day and dimmer light in the late afternoon and evening. That kind of light "dose" has to be experienced daily to maintain the circadian rhythms, which can improve sleep and overall health and wellbeing. Here are a few simple changes anyone can make right now: Incorporate windows into your plan. If daylight is not available in your daytime work area, consider adding a softly diffused light source about arm’s length away from where most time is spent during the day. Something diffused through a shade or other source will be easier on the eyes and make it easy to continue focusing on tasks at hand while maintaining proper light exposure. Utilize lighting controls, such as dimmers or smart control products. If lights are on dimmers, a timer can be set as a reminder of when to turn down the light level in the evening. With smart controls, it is possible to program the lights to automatically adjust according to the time of day. A lighting professional at a nearby ALA-member showroom can help design a lighting plan for a beautiful, functional, and healthy living space. With hundreds of member showrooms throughout the U.S. and Canada, the ALA tag means you will find the best selection, prices, and expertise in those retail outlets. Lutron Electronics Cooper Lighting Solutions For more about the importance of maintaining good circadian rhythm, listen to ALA's podcast, "Bright Days, Dark Nights." Mark Rea and Jennifer Brons of the Mount Sinai Light and Health Research Center discuss how lighting can affect people's health, both negatively and positively. To listen, click here. More interesting home lighting-related podcasts are available at ALApodcast.com. American Lighting Association Previous Article Bright Ideas: Show Your True Colors Next Article Time for Spring Bling Print 2028 Rate this article: No rating Please login or register to post comments.