Hello and happy Friday!
It’s probably too late to wish you a happy new year, but I hope you had a great holiday season anyway.
This week’s newsletter features an article I wrote about how almost everyone suffers from light deprivation in the winter months (and how to fix it). After upgrading my indoor lighting, I was shocked by how dramatically it impacted my energy and mood. It’s crazy to me that more people don’t talk about this.
I wanted to share the months of research I did into the science of why light affects us as well as concrete tips for designing the indoor lighting in your space.
Here’s a short snippet –
How to fix your indoor lighting to simulate sunlight
I’ve always been someone who's hated the winter months, which I thought was mostly because of the cold. With the shift to working from home though, I’ve increasingly been noticing how hard it is for me to focus after it gets dark outside (as early as 4:30pm in NYC).
I finally decided to buy bright lights for my room to better simulate daylight, and the effect was really dramatic. Instead of having a strong urge to stop working whenever it got dark out, I was suddenly able to maintain my normal summer schedule and keep working until dinner.
I’m going to make the case that upgrading your lighting is one of the most impactful purchases you can make to improve quality of life during the winter months.
Light suppresses melatonin release
Studies have shown that sufficient light exposure in the evening time is associated with increased subjective alertness and mood, primarily by suppressing melatonin.
If you don’t have bright enough indoor lighting in the winter, then your body essentially sends the signal to get ready for sleep after the sun goes down at 4:30.
This means that you're needlessly fighting with your own body by trying to power through and continue working. During the summer, your body is exposed to natural light until much later in the day and so the melatonin signal is delayed until 7 or 8.
The idea is to use artificial lights to simulate daylight in those 3-4 hours, so that you’re essentially on your summer schedule all year.
Check out the full article for concrete tips on designing indoor lighting. 💡
I hope you’ve enjoyed this issue of Friday Brainstorm — let me know what you think! I’d love to hear about people’s experiences with designing their indoor lighting.