Smart Home, Smart Health

The Smart home brings many benefits; comfort, security, energy and time savings to name a few. How far do these benefits go? Research has shown that where you live affects your health – but can a smart home actually be good for your health? We decided to explore. Where the smart home excels in health benefits is in its support of the circadian rhythm.

Firstly let’s address what the circadian rhythm is

The National Sleep Foundation states:

Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.



So, what has that got to do with a smart home?

Light is the most powerful synchroniser of the human circadian clock. The time spent exposed to different colours and levels of light throughout the day and night is responsible for how circadian rhythms are synced with our environment.


Light can be a major disruptor – artificial light in particular.

When our rhythm falls out of sync it can have major impacts on our health and wellbeing.


For example we all understand that a good night’s sleep improves our performance. Think about how you feel when you are lying awake at 3am and then have to bring you’re a game the next morning – how many days in a row can you do that.


Now the need for good, regular sleep is recognised by scientists. They even believe we are on the brink of a ‘catastrophic sleep-loss epidemic’ and recommend doctors prescribe sleep for a lot of regular ailments.


According to the NHS: regular poor sleep actually presents serious health risks, such as obesityheart disease, diabetes, and a shortened life expectancy.

Furthermore, disrupted, poor, or inconstant sleep can wreak havoc on our bodies impacting our alertness, mood, and mental wellness.


So how can you actively control getting a good night’s sleep? In a smart home, the flexibility and control that you have over all the systems in your house means that you can use light (natural and artificial) to improve your health and wellbeing by setting them to work with and supporting your circadian rhythm- enter circadian lighting.


Hmmm, so what is circadian lighting?


Considering we spend so much time making our homes beautiful, functional and in tune with our lifestyles, shouldn’t they be the starting point for lighting that supports a healthy balanced circadian rhythm?


The concept of circadian lighting follows that of the human circadian rhythm, a 24-hour internal clock. The area of the brain called the hypothalamus controls each person’s circadian rhythm by receiving signals from the eyes that report when it’s daytime and night time. The hypothalamus, in turn, controls the amount of melatonin released to correlate sleepiness with darkness and alertness with lightness.


Circadian lighting therefore, is the concept that electric light can be used to support human health by reducing the effect of electric light on the human circadian rhythm.  Scientists have discovered that long-term exposure to certain wavelengths of blue light at a specific intensity can have a negative impact on melatonin production.



How do smart controls link to circadian lighting?

Controlling natural and artificial lighting is one of the most effective ways to transform your home and there are numerous examples now of how lighting can really make a difference to the quality of your life.


Bright summer mornings – set your blind controls to bathe your rooms in soft morning light, awakening your senses, making the most of natural light when it is available.


When winter draws, and natural light is of a premium, you can tune your lighting controls system to match your circadian rhythm. Gently Start the day with colour temperatures close to natural morning light (<2700K), move to brighter whites (5000K) for alertness and end the evening with warming soothing colours (<2700K), removing some of the blue spectrum to slowly easy your body into the night time rhythm.


Like the idea of a ‘Smart home’ = ‘Smart health’? Then call us to discuss installing your own smart lighting system.

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