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Does circadian lighting improve sleep?

Circadian lighting has been shown to improve sleep quality and overall well-being. Circadian lighting refers to the use of artificial lighting that mimics the natural changes in light intensity and colour temperature throughout the day. It is designed to align with the body’s internal circadian rhythm, which regulates various physiological processes, including sleep-wake cycles.

Research suggests that exposure to appropriate lighting conditions can help regulate the circadian rhythm, leading to improved sleep quality. The key principles of circadian lighting involve providing bright, bluish-white light in the morning to enhance alertness and resetting the internal clock, and gradually transitioning to warmer, dimmer light in the evening to promote relaxation and prepare the body for sleep.

Several studies have demonstrated the positive effects of circadian lighting on sleep. For example, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that individuals exposed to blue-enriched morning light experienced improved sleep quality and alertness during the day compared to those exposed to dim light. Similarly, another study published in the Journal of Biological and Medical Rhythm Research found that evening exposure to warmer, dimmer light resulted in reduced sleep onset latency (time taken to fall asleep) and increased sleep efficiency.

Circadian lighting systems can be implemented using specialised lighting fixtures or smart lighting solutions that can automatically adjust the colour temperature and intensity of light throughout the day. These systems aim to create an environment that promotes better synchronisation with the natural light-dark cycle, which can have a positive impact on sleep patterns.

It’s worth noting that while circadian lighting can be beneficial for sleep, it should be combined with other good sleep hygiene practices, such as maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and minimising exposure to electronic screens and specific parts of the visible light spectrum before bedtime (IE. blue light), to optimise sleep quality.