Monday, March 24, 2014

More Coffee or More Sunlight?

      Have you ever experienced trouble falling asleep at night? Or staying awake at school or work during the post-lunch hours? These feelings of sleeplessness and sleepiness are often caused by the type of lighting we are exposed to throughout the day. For a lot of us, this lighting is electric rather than natural sunlight, and with time, it can have a huge affect on our bodies.

      All light, whether it is electric or natural, has what is called a Kelvin color temperature. Most standard electrical lighting is at 3,500 Kelvin, and remains at this level throughout the day. However, sunlight can reach levels up to 10,000 Kelvin, and changes throughout the day.

Certain levels, usually 4,500 to 6,500 Kelvin, allow our bodies to feel more awake and energized. In the evening, the natural color temperature decreases, allowing our bodies to slow down and progress naturally towards sleep. In other words, the changing color temperature throughout the day and night (the moonlight has color temperature, too) assists in regulating our body’s circadian rhythms.

      Spending so much time inside, under unnatural lighting, upsets these natural rhythms. Studies have shown that computer, television, and cell phone screens all give off light that has higher levels of blue light (a higher color temperature), a quality that tells our brains and bodies that it is time to be awake and active—which contradicts going to sleep right after using them.

      In some hospitals and care facilities they are using lighting in the evenings that has more red light (a lower color temperature) because it creates the opposite effect of blue light. It is calming, relaxing, and good for sleeping.

 By creating ways for abundant natural light to enter a living or work space, we can create indoor spaces that will balance your circadian rhythms and create a healthy, comfortable environment that will give you energy and help you sleep!
Skylights are the perfect way to let abundant natural light into your home that will make you feel good!
Call us today for a free estimate! (707) 527-5330.


 If you are interested in reading more about Kelvin light temperature, check out the source for this article here: “Human Centric Lighting” by Stan Walerczyk: 
and the Human Centric Lighting Website: