Light and the brain. How does lighting affect our mood? Moroccan depth

The ratio of the brain to light is too large to be explained by mere aesthetic tastes. Light in life is not only one of the sources of energy that sustains it, but it is one of the factors that strongly contributes to the determination. of the life behavior. things and the imprint of their living system.

Before a new relationship for the human brain was formed with the light it made through a series of discoveries and innovations, it established a strong and rooted relationship with sunlight in its greatest manifestations in the alternation of night and day, and slept at night and was active during the day.

After discovering fire, and inventing forms of lighting that throughout history have allowed him to pursue darkness whenever he wanted, light became a new presence that goes beyond just overcoming the compulsion of darkness to others. features associated with decoration and beauty, and the formation of spaces, and adapting it to the requirements of taste.

Today, the management of light is subject to scientific rules related to health aspects, especially those related to mood, so the lighting is designed according to the desired brain activity.

According to Al Jazeera Net, lighting changes our mood radically, in a room with warm lights we feel calm and relaxed, while changing the lighting in the room itself to strong white fluorescent light can increase our activity and our ability to focus and work. increase, with light it is possible to create comfortable spaces and improve the depth and height, so that lamps are no longer a simple tool to just get light, it gives us a complete experience, beautifies our spaces and makes it more suited to our requirements and moods.

Today, we spend most of our time in artificial lighting, and these different lights that surround us have different effects on our bodies as well as on our mental health, so we need to spend more time in front of store shelves to choose from hundreds. of lamps, and note the data written on it to choose what It suits us.

And as studies on the effect of lighting reveal to us, according to the same source, it is not a luxury, so what are the limits of this effect? How do you choose the perfect lighting in the corners of your home?

This is how our brain interprets light

Let’s first get acquainted with the effect of light on our brain.

The “master clock” that controls the circadian rhythm consists of a group of neurons in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which contains about 20 neurons and is located in the hypothalamus.

This area receives its information about the outside world through the retina, so it recognizes the time according to the quality of the ambient light, as it contains specialized cells that are sensitive to light. It therefore takes information about the length of the day and night from our eyes, interprets it and passes it on to the pineal gland, which in turn responds to incoming signals. The hormone melatonin is secreted to a large extent during the night in preparation for sleep, and it stops during the day to start feeling awake.

Even during daylight hours, artificial light often floods us, destroying the functioning of the suprachiasmatic nucleus, depriving us of a regular sleep-wake cycle. Consequently, if we choose poor lighting, we expose ourselves to health problems such as eye strain, headaches and fatigue, and psychological problems such as stress and anxiety, especially in more stressful work environments.

In work environments, lighting affects the performance of workers, according to a research report compiled by the company “Staples” in the UK on the impact of lighting in the workplace, an online survey was conducted for about seven thousand office workers in ten European countries, including the UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden in October 2018, a report reveals that 40% of office workers suffer from poor lighting affecting their productivity and well-being, and 25% of those surveyed are frustrated with poor lighting in their workplace must handle.

In the experiments, 80% of them said that good lighting in their workplace is important to them, and about 40% said that they suffer from uncomfortable lighting, and that access to natural sunlight in winter is very limited, and therefore many some of them feel stressed and some suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and 32% of participants confirmed that better lighting will make them happier at work.

Anxiety and sleep impact

We still talk about lighting in general, in terms of its types.In a study on the effect of fluorescent light on anxious patients, published last year by the Curius Journal of Medical Sciences, researchers noticed an increase in anxiety rates among those already suffering from anxiety disorders compared to others when exposed to fluorescent light as they felt uncomfortable and sometimes got headaches, and some preferred to leave the place while others struggled to adjust.

Previous studies have shown that fluorescent light increases alertness and negatively affects the ability to relax and sleep, and this explains the results of the study. Other participants benefit from the positive aspects of exposure to fluorescent light, feel happier and more energetic by inhibiting melatonin secretion despite a low mood and loss of motivation the next day.

Blue light is widely used in our world today, along with lamps, it radiates from television and cell phone screens that surround us on every side, and due to its strength of more than 5000 K, exposure to it for one hour at night sufficient to affect the production of melatonin, which results in delaying sleep for up to three hours.

In a study done at the University of Granada, researchers examined the effect of blue light on our ability to relax compared to white light to find that symptoms of stress that occur in physiological responses such as heartbeat and brain activity that are common adversely affected health disappeared more rapidly in the group exposed to blue light. , which confirmed his ability to give us a sense of relaxation after exposure to psychological stress more than white light.

Get to know the light around you

But how do we choose the right lighting?

Here we are interested in the practical part. Today we have several options for smart light bulbs. We need to know some technical features; Lighting intensity, color temperature (which we can distinguish in the color of the light emitted by the lamp), and color rendering scale (which occurs in the ability of light to reveal the colors of furniture and walls in place), which are considered essential factors for the preparation of the place and the creation of the atmosphere in it according to its function, what are criteria They are used by professionals to determine the appropriate lighting.

Color temperature is measured with the Kelvin scale, which indicates the level of light color. The scale ranges from the warmest color light (1800 K) which tends to yellow like sunlight, to the coldest color found in blue light (6500 K). The scale also determines the percentage of blue light in the light to which we are exposed.

The light looks warm yellow when it ranges between 2500-3000 Kelvin, which helps with relaxation during reading and rest, and between 4900-6500 Kelvin, the light naturally looks closer to white, which helps with comfortable work, while when it exceeds 6500 Kelvin and offers a level Great brightness and tendency to blue it helps to increase focus and attention.

The determination of the intensity of light, that is to say the amount or intensity of light falling on a particular point, can be measured in the unit of light intensity in the international system of units, symbolized by “Lux” or (lx) becomes, a Latin word meaning “light”, distinguishes our eyes well. for them.

In terms of the appropriate light intensity, experts recommend that it varies between 50-100 lux in the hallways, and that it should be between 100-200 lux in the kitchens and not less than 500 lux in the workplace when you open the window. in the morning to sit near it and read a book, this light The indirect is 10 000 lux, so as soon as the degree of illumination reaches less than 600-800 lux, the brain begins to sense the coming of the night and prepare us before for sleep.

When choosing light for the living room and bedrooms, it is preferable to use lamps with soft white light, from 2700 to 3000 Kelvin, which gives us warmth and comfort, and is suitable for reading before sleeping, while it is recommended to to choose the yellowish. white light ranging from 3000 to 4000 Kelvin in kitchens and bathrooms The bright white lamps, with colors ranging from 4000-5000K, which emit white and blue colors, increase the energy level and are the ideal choice for your kitchen and home offices. (10)

White or yellow?

In general, we will first need to define the function of each corner of the house in order to be able to choose the appropriate lighting for it, for example whether the place will be allocated for rest or for work, so that we can know if we have a cold or hot one, for example need color.

We often do different tasks in the same space at home, spend different hours in the day, and our moods change, maybe we take work calls, we exercise, we sit down to relax and watch a good movie over the weekend, so we have to to adjust the lighting to our mood and work, and fortunately Many types of electric lamps available today can change the color of the lighting according to desire, so it is possible to choose the same lamp in your room and the color of the change lighting as desired instead of buying multiple lamps in each room.

In terms of the color of the light, our choices and trends differ, of course, especially with the shade that gives the color of light that changes the color of the furniture in the spaces, but in general, cool white light is the best option during working hours when you need to be fully alert and vigilant while choosing A color temperature of less than 3000 K is when you want to relax and read at night without affecting your sleeping hours, and generally try to limit exposure to blue light during night. hours to avoid its harmful effect.

Some applications that can help you select the right lighting for your room specifically, the Lighting Calculations application, and the www.vonn website, which allow you to enter data related to the room’s area, the color of the walls and the light source you prefer – from above or side light – so you can create your own space above possible quality.

Through lighting only, it is possible to create comfortable and beautiful spaces that give us the feeling we prefer in every corner of our homes, and give a different look to every corner in accordance with the task we perform and the nature of the time of day, the effect of those lights that accompany us for long hours, is worth pausing for a while To choose the best, the feeling we prefer in our homes, and to to help us perform our tasks optimally.

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