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How Lighting Affects Your Mood

business people smiling happyDo you ever feel a bit down in the dumps when you are in a dimly lit space for an extended period of time? Have you ever stopped to notice how your mood perks up when you are surrounded by light? It’s not all in your head. Research has shown that light can have a very real impact on our moods. But how? Once you understand the answer to that question, you can begin to change your environment and, in turn, improve your mood.

The Lower the Light, The Lower the Mood

There is no need for a crash course in science to understand how low light affects your mood. There are only two terms you really need to understand: serotonin and melatonin.

Serotonin is a chemical in your brain that has an effect on appetite, sleep, mood, memory and depression. Melatonin is a chemical that controls your sleep/wake cycle and is highest around the time you go to bed.

Poor lighting can affect the amount of melatonin that your brain produces. This can create an imbalance. The lower the levels of light, the more melatonin that is produced. The more melatonin, the lower the amount of serotonin. This has a dramatic effect on your mood, making you feel depressed and sleepy.

On the other side of the coin, high levels of light can help to increase your levels of serotonin. This can help kick your brain chemistry back into balance and improve your mood.

What To Do About It

You don’t have to live in a light box to be happy, but you can use lighting to improve your mood. Consider switching to dimmers. You can keep lights bright and then dim them the closer you get to bed. Use full spectrum light bulbs and open up the blinds. An influx of natural light will certainly make you a bit more cheerful than usual.

If you would like more information about how you can use light to improve the interior of your home or office, browse our website. We have tons of tips and tricks that you can use absolutely free. Here at greencents, we are all about helping you improve your home and save money at the same time.


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