Optimal Smart Home Lighting for Ideal Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for living a healthy life. Current research shows how stress and environmental factors – like looking at a blue screen before bed – interrupt our natural circadian rhythms and prevent us from getting a good night’s rest. Integrating optimal lighting into your smart home can help you restore your natural circadian rhythms and get the rest you need.
Dr. Steven Lockley, a neuroscientist at the division of sleep and circadian disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, told the New York Times that lights within our homes – like those from computer screens, smartphones, televisions, and even overhead lamps – can interrupt our sleep patterns more than outside light. Working at your laptop until ten o’clock at night will affect your natural circadian rhythm, the biological clock which tells us when to sleep and when to wake up. Staring at bright light – especially the blue light from a screen – will tell your brain to stop producing the hormone melatonin, which helps us fall asleep.
Emerging technology like the Dodow device help people unplug from the stress of the day by restoring the body’s natural sleep mechanisms. Created by the French company Livlab, the Dodow device uses a pulsing light to tap into the body’s organic breathing patterns to help the user fall asleep faster, according to a recent article in Digital Trends. As the user breathes with the light, their rate of breathing slows from the normal eleven breaths per minute to six breaths per minute, which decreases heart rate and blood pressure, triggering an innate resting state. Dodow relaxes the fight or flight response in the user – activated by the constant state of stress so common in our culture – and restores balance to the autonomic nervous system.
An array of new light bulbs allow people to replace the spotlight-glare of LED lights with softer tones. Philips offers Hue, its line of smart bulbs that connect to wireless networks and smart home systems, offering various tones of light to match the needs of the day.
However, some argue that a light bulb is not enough to solve the overall problem of an off-kilter inner clock. Lighting must fit our circadian rhythms all day long to properly address our need to wind down and sleep at night.
Lutron offers a variety of products to control lighting throughout your smart home or business. Lutron’s innovative, high-quality technology provides more than 10,000 products that can integrate into a home or business environment, adjusting the intensity of all kinds of light, from natural daylight to electric lighting. Lutron’s stylish controls offer dimmers, sensors, and automated shades for elegance, ambiance, and the practical lighting needs of any room throughout the day and night. And you can control any Lutron system from a mobile device, wherever you are.
To discuss your lighting needs, call us at Jackson Hole AV. We’d love to help you find the best system to integrate your smart home for a good night’s rest.