Lighting Hacks for a Good Night's Sleep: A How-To Guide

Struggling with sleep? 

You’re not alone. Nearly 15% of adults had trouble falling asleep most days, according to the CDC. 

To get a better night’s rest, one lesser-known tactic is to improve your lighting. That’s because sleep and lighting are much more closely connected than you might think!

Read on for essential lighting tips to promote a good night’s sleep.

1. Understand Your Sleep Cycle

To optimize your sleep, first thing’s first: get insights into your sleep cycle. 

The sleep-wake cycle is a fundamental part of improving your sleep. Put simply, exposure to natural light during the day stimulates your alertness and productivity. At sunset, lower light tells your body to start winding down. A key part of this is the circadian rhythm.

The circadian rhythm is our internal biological clock that directs the body’s processes throughout the day and night. Melatonin, our body’s sleep hormone, is crucial for regulating these cycles. The circadian rhythm is responsible for suppressing melatonin production to keep you awake while ramping up production at dusk to get your body ready for sleep. 

Keep this in mind! You can use this knowledge to create strategic lighting that mimics the sun’s cues and our body’s sleep-wake cycles. Read on for some tips.

2. Incorporate Sleep-Optimized Lighting

Ready to start optimizing your lighting for sleep? Let’s begin.

Use Warm-Toned Lights at Night

Colour temperature is measured on the Kelvin scale: lower for warmer and higher for cooler. Here’s a handy guide below that provides a brief overview of correlated colour temperature (CCT).

Warm-toned lights—particularly below 3,000 Kelvin—can offer a variety of sleep-promoting benefits when used at night, such as increasing melatonin, reducing blue light exposure, and promoting relaxation and comfort. 

Make sure to place warm lighting throughout your home to help you wind down in the evening.

Use LED Lights 

Energy-efficient light-emitting diodes (LED lights) can support your sleep environment, too. In fact, LED lights around 2700K can actually help improve your sleep quality, according to the Journal of Biological Rhythms

We recommend choosing dimmer LED lights, in particular. That’s because dimmer LEDs, such as Lutron’s LED+, can be programmed to closely mimic daylight changes to support your rest routine and reduce blue light exposure.

3. Set Up Your Room For Success

Creating the right layout and ambiance in a bedroom is foundational for a good night’s rest. 

Here are some tips for optimizing your space:

  • Avoid direct lighting while you’re lying down. Instead, position lamps to ensure gentle, indirect lighting.
  • Choose adjustable bedside lamps. Adding dimmers—such as Leviton dimmers—in your bedroom can help create a gradual transition to lower light levels, signalling your body to unwind.
  • Add lampshades or diffusers. These can soften lighting and create a calming atmosphere.
  • Select lamps that minimize blue light. This can help you fall asleep quicker, as blue light exposure is shown to suppress melatonin production.

4. Maximize Natural Light Exposure During the Day

Getting ample exposure to natural light during the day—especially in the morning—is a great way to prepare for a better sleep at night. 

That’s because sunlight regulates your body’s circadian rhythm, enhances your mood, and helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake balance. 

Here are some hacks to get the most out of sunlight (whether you actually go outside or not!):

  • Open curtains and blinds. Do so during the day to invite natural light in.
  • Place furniture strategically. This can let sunlight reach deeper into your rooms.
  • Add mirrors for reflection. Mirrors reflect natural light and brighten dark areas.
  • Choose light colours. Opt for light-coloured walls and furniture to create a brighter interior.
  • Get outdoors. Step outside the good old-fashioned way to soak up natural light. 
  • Use daylight-mimicking bulbs. These are particularly helpful in areas with limited natural light!

5. Incorporate Smart Lighting

Smart lighting strategies can transform your sleep environment with a few simple hacks. 

Here are some tips on how to use smart lighting for a more restful night’s sleep. 

  • Set up automated lighting schedules. Automated lighting schedules, such as these Lutron lighting control systems, mimic natural daylight patterns. Another key benefit of automated lighting? Reducing your energy consumption, too.
  • Use programmable smart bulbs. These lamps mimic natural daylight, adjusting colour temperatures to align with circadian rhythms. 
  • Implement motion sensors. Automate lighting transitions and prevent fumbling for switches in the middle of the night. 
  • Connect to voice-activated assistants. Connecting to your smart lighting systems allows hands-free control and customization with smart home automation products such as Leviton’s Decora Smart™ line. The My Leviton app even allows you to use voice commands that can connect with Amazon Alexa™, Google Assistant™, or HomeKit™/Siri®.

Unsure about what smart lighting options to go for? These three choices are a great place to start.

We’re Here to Support

Ready to start sleeping soundly? Get in touch with our lighting specialists to help you integrate these strategies and start optimizing your space. 

Happy sleeping!

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