The Circadian Rhythm is the daily cycle that regulates a number of important bodily functions such as body temperature, hormone production (testosterone, growth hormone cortisol, and melatonin), cell regeneration, and brain wave activity.
Our bodies naturally wake when the sun rises and to sleep when it gets dark. Over the past 140 years, our bodies have been confused by the use of artificial lighting, which has broken our relationship with the sun, and as a result our natural sleep/wake cycle. Circadian Lighting is designed to tap into the proven biological cycles our bodies follow each day. This is known as Circadian Rhythm. Your body has an internal clock that ensures these cycles take approximately 24 hours. The most noticeable effects of Circadian processes are the effects it has on when you feel awake and when you get sleepy. All of these items affect our mental and physical health, our mood, our energy and our overall well-being.
In the last 10 years we have seen a flood of new research in the biological understanding of how human eyes, brains, and internal clocks all work in unison. Circadian Lighting can help align our biological needs with our lighting requirements and reduce some of the most negative impacts of indoor lighting.
Numerous studies in recent years have identified the many benefits of Circadian Lighting, from increased alertness in the morning, improved mood throughout the day, to faster cognitive processing.
Your body is a magnificent piece of engineering. It evolved using the light of the rising and setting sun to sync your body’s circadian rhythm. Light suppresses the body’s natural production of melatonin. Therefore, light, whether natural or man-made, is the main driver of synchronization.
How much it suppresses melatonin production depends on the intensity of the light and the color temperature of the light. The brighter the light, the more significant the suppression. The higher the color temperature, the more effective the melatonin suppression. The bright blue-white light of many modern LEDs is an example of high color temperature light. The warm yellow glow of an incandescent bulb is much lower temperature and has a much smaller suppression effect.
The correct type and intensity of light at the correct times will work to ensure your body’s clock and Earth’s clock remain in sync. This means that light in the morning will help us wake up and stay awake. And of course, darkness in the evening will prepare us for sleep and help us stay asleep at night.
Too much high-temperature light in the evenings and into the night will suppress your melatonin production and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Conversely, a lack of light in the morning will delay the elimination of melatonin. It will be more difficult to shake that groggy morning feeling and much more likely that you’ll crawl back under the covers.
Most people have a schedule to keep regardless of how they slept the night before. You cannot wait to wake up when your body wants to wake up. So, you force yourself out of bed when the alarm goes off and you use all the tricks to try to get yourself going. You are fighting your body and it’s not good for your mental or physical health.
There is a whole laundry list of possible health problems that pop up due to sleep and circadian rhythm disruptions. There is an increased risk of depression, risk-taking, and stimulant use. Many people suffer from reduced performance in the areas of cognitive skills, memory, communication, and motor skills. Long term disruptions have shown increased risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
What better way to start your day than a gentle transition from sleep to being awake and alert. Even if you are still asleep, light will begin to suppress the production of melatonin. When your alarm finally does go off you may find you are already awake and alert and ready to start your day.
Bright, high color temperature light in your morning living space or work space will help to keep you alert and productive.
During the evenings, your body should be preparing for sleep. Of course, most adults stay awake for some time after the sun goes down and use artificial lights to illuminate our living spaces. You don’t want the same bright blue light shining down on you when you are supposed to be preparing for sleep. Instead, you want a soft warm glow (think candle light). OK Technologies system is programmed to automatically shift their color depending on the time of day.