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June 30, 2022 2 min read

The light we experience across our daily lives has a major influence on our body rhythms. Modern lifestyles, with 24-hour access to electric light and reduced exposure to natural daylight, can disrupt sleep and negatively impact health, well-being, and productivity.

New information shows exactly how bright lighting should be during the day and in the evening to support healthy body rhythms, restful sleep, and daytime alertness.

Professors Timothy Brown from the University of Manchester, UK, and Kenneth Wright from the University of Colorado Boulder brought together an international body of leading scientific experts to agree the first evidence-based, consensus recommendations for healthy daytime, evening, and nighttime light exposure.

These recommendations provide much needed guidance to the lighting and electronics industries to aid the design of healthier environments and to improve how we light our workplaces, public buildings, and homes.

An important next step will be integration of the recommendations into formal lighting guidelines, which currently focus on visual requirements rather than effects on health and well-being.

Additionally, increasing sophistication in LED lighting technology and the availability of low-cost light sensors are expected to increase the ease with which individuals can optimize their personal light exposure to best support their own body rhythms in line with the new recommendations.

Brown adds, “These recommendations provide the first scientific consensus, quantitative, guidance for appropriate daily patterns of light exposure to support healthy body rhythms, nighttime sleep, and daytime alertness. This now provides a clear framework to inform how we light any interior space ranging from workplaces, educational establishments, and healthcare facilities to our own homes.”

Recommendations for daytime, evening, and nighttime indoor light exposure to best support sleep, and wakefulness in healthy adults

In short, in modern times seemingly innocuous things like the lighting in our homes or offices can cause massive issues with sleep and wakefulness.  Getting outdoors in natural lighting each day is an important step in keeping your body clock in harmony with the rest of your well-being.

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