A lot of Dutch people are awesome in the dark. They get poor daylight and the internal light is not strong enough. Especially now that winter is coming and the days are getting shorter.
Lack of light affects our mood and sleep and therefore can cause all kinds of health problems. That is why, according to experts, we need to pay much more attention to the effect of light on our health.
Chronobiologist Marijke Gordijn, founder of Chrono @ Work and guest assistant at the University of Groningen, focuses on adjusting and operating the human biological clock. Light is an essential part of this. If you absorb more light during the day, you sleep better at night. "How people often sleep well after a day outdoors," says Gordijn RTL News.
"It's not so much about sleeping more, it's about the quality of sleep," says Gordijn. "How fast you fall asleep, how often you wake up at night and how deep you sleep; the quality of your sleep has a huge effect on your body."
"For example, if you sleep poorly, your hormonal balance changes, which increases your risk of obesity," she explains. "And there are direct connections between your eyes and the brain that control your mood. Insufficient light negatively influences your mood and can even lead to depression."
What can you do for yourself?
Chronobiologist Marijke Gordijn has some practical advice for relaxing and reducing the chance of a winter swim:
- Leave for half an hour every morning between 8am and 9am.
- Going out to lunch
- If you work indoors, sit as close as possible to the window.
- You can increase the lighting at home, but you need special lamps that can't be found in the supermarket.
- He works to go to a sunny destination for a few days in winter.
- Don't spend every night watching TV under a blanket; also do outdoor activities and weather the cold
- Make sure you get enough sleep
Gordijn and his colleagues have already established their findings with three different studies. "We also know that employees in offices where artificial light is simulated during the day sleep better," she says. People who work with better light are more fit and alert and their mood is better.
In offices, the brightness of the work area should be 500 lux, according to the Working Conditions Act. But that is very little, according to Gordijn. "We have to move towards a luminous intensity of 1000 lux to benefit from the light."
Lux is the unit of brightness, where 1000 lux is equal to what you see on a very dark winter day.
- Moonlit Cloudy Night: 0.0001 lux
- Full moon: 0.1 lux
- Twilight: 10 lux
- At home on a very dark day: 100 lux
- Office: 300 to 500 lux
- Cloudy day: 4000 lux
- Indirect sunlight during the day: 10,000 to 20,000 lux
- Direct sunlight during the day: 100,000 to 130,000 lux
Therefore, more attention should be given to the light. "You should bring better daylight or increase lighting," says Gordijn. And the latter is possible today with special lamps.
The Eindhoven-based Sparckel company claims to be the world's first "independent biodynamic light system with technology that matches the power of natural light."
Director and founder Maarten Voorhuis gets to where this light should belong to the five disc. "We don't know how well we can feel."
"Biodynamics means that light adapts to the time of day," explains Voorhuis. This means you get bluer in the morning and redder at night thanks to the lighting system's built-in timer. That way you get the right light at the right time and sleep better.
Voorhuis continues: "I started working with scientists to unravel the healthy light formula. We found that people need 1000 lux in mind. Then we saw how we could achieve this without people getting unpleasant light. Sit down."
Voorhuis and chronobiologist Gordijn are not alone in thinking that more attention should be paid to the importance of light. Jan Denneman, who has worked at Philips Lighting for over 40 years, recently founded the Good Light Group, a nonprofit foundation that wants to emphasize the importance of daylight.
"There are scientists, chronobiologists, architects and companies from the Good Light Group," says Denneman. "There are about 1000 experts in the field of light and health in the world. There is a lot of talk between them at conferences. But now it's time for this information to be released to the general public."
"Become a gardener"
"Everyone knows that you shouldn't smoke, clean air is important, and so on. But how light is important, nobody knows," says Denneman. Good Light Group should change that.
Because, according to Denneman, we now spend 90% of our time indoors, hardly anyone gets enough light. "You can really become the best gardener," he says. "But we can't all become that."
This lamp provides a better night's sleep and a better mood.