All over the globe, even in “The Lucky Country” of Australia, many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) when days are shorter which can trigger moodiness, disinterest, apathy, and even depression.
Many people find themselves feeling less motivated when there are fewer hours of daylight and find that energy levels decrease without enough daylight. Though we feel the effects of sunlight-deprivation more acutely during the winter months, our need for daylight is continuous throughout the year. Access to the right light affects our motivation, productivity, our sleep and our general sense of well-being.
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in the environment. Circadian rhythms are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes.
Circadian rhythms are created naturally within our body, but they are also affected by signals from the environment. Light is the main cue influencing circadian rhythms, turning on or turning off genes that control an organism’s internal clocks.
Circadian rhythms can have a massive influence on our sleep-wake cycles, our hormone release, our body temperature and other important bodily functions. Interestingly, they have been linked to various sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Abnormal circadian rhythms have also been associated with obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Circadian rhythms are important in determining human sleep patterns. The body’s master clock controls the production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. Since it is located just above the optic nerves, which relay information from the eyes to the brain, the body clock receives information about incoming light. When there is less light—like at night—the body clock tells the brain to make more melatonin so you get sleepy.
Circadian Rhythm in your workspace
Whether you work from a home office, a corporate building, a hospital or any other workspace that is indoors, you can benefit from installing a circadian lighting system. If your workplace doesn’t have windows, or even if it does, consider installing a circadian lighting system that provides appropriate light waves to trigger wakefulness. Circadian lighting systems do a number of things, but most importantly signal the suprachiasmatic nucleus or SCN in the eye, which is responsible for calibrating our day/night cycles. Some new healthy building standards, such as the WELL Building Standard, are giving credits for installing this feature. Circadian lighting in workplaces takes into account natural and artificial light, a certain intensity of light at the desktop height level, and the presence of high light levels for a certain amount of time during the day.
Professional Automation can attest to the benefits of having a circadian rhythm lighting system installed in their offices. A simple, inexpensive and visually appealing solution that increases motivation, productivity and mood in your work or home environment is definitely worth a look at. Contact Professional Automation today on 1300 459 525 to discuss how a circadian rhythm lighting system will benefit you, and arrange to come in to our offices to see it for yourself!
Take a look at this You-Tube video to help you understand how circadian rhythm works.