Exposure to light - both natural and artificial - has a marked impact on the body's circadian rhythm and can affect the secretion of melatonin which is needed for body clock regulation.
Now that we're in the middle of winter, you might be sensing how the lack of light can result in Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression linked to the change in seasons with symptoms known to manifest in winter including lower energy levels and mood swings.
According to the Sleep Health Foundation, four out of 10 Australians get insufficient sleep either daily or on several days a week on multiple days throughout the week which is known to affect mood, energy levels, productivity, weight and the likelihood of developing serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.
With the recently released findings of the National Inquiry into Australia's Sleep Health in Australia recommending that sleep is placed as the third pillar of health, alongside diet and exercise, it is clearly an issue that is on the national agenda.
Smart-lighting company LIFX has seen growth in its Day & Dusk circadian lighting feature - a product developed specifically to help tackle sleep health concerns through automating lighting to match the sun's colour shifts throughout the day.
Co-Founder of LIFX, Marc Alexander, said he "was seeing people the world over look to technology to feel better, workout better, sleep better.
"Most people know that the blue light emitted by screens is harmful for sleep cycles, but how many of us stop to think about the colour of the lights in the bedroom and how that might be affecting our sleep, too? LIFX can make an impact on a vital piece of the sleep puzzle - light. Day & Dusk helps users feel ready for bed, and wake up to soft light as nature intended."
Switching on the Day & Dusk feature tailors the brightness, colour and temperature of the light to mimic the pattern of the sun. It automates the light to transition from cool white in the morning to a warmer white at night, with temperatures ranging from 1500K - 4000K.
The feature can be switched on via the LIFX app and is also the defining feature of LIFX's dedicated product: Mini Day & Dusk - an 800 lumen light that can be used in any lamp.
LIFX's tips to wake up more refreshed in winter
- Ensure you get some daylight during the day, and augment this with good quality indoor light.
- Set yourself a curfew for screen time to limit exposure to blue light at bedtime. If you are using your phone in the evening, activate Night Shift (Apple) or Night Mode (Android) to automatically adjust the colours of your display to the warmer end of the spectrum.
- Set lights to red tones in the evening as it helps you get to sleep by aiding melatonin production.
- Set yourself a 'light alarm' so you can wake up to soft light in the morning - and set your actual alarm as a back up about half an hour later.