A lack of proper lighting at work is not ideal, and sometimes there may not be windows available to provide natural light. Working in a dim lit environment for long periods of time can lead to Vitamin D deficiencies and depression. Seasonal affective disorder is an issue that often arises from not getting much Vitamin D during the winter months. Those working in a dark environment are also affected in the same way (regardless of the season).
Production of Melatonin
Poor lighting at work may affect your mood by inhabiting your bodies ability produce the sleep hormone melatonin at the appropriate rate. When we are in the dark, our bodies produce melatonin to signal that it’s time to sleep. On top of this the blue light that a computer screen emits suppress the production of melatonin. These mixed signals can cause confusion and prevent the individual from being able to get to sleep at bedtime. With poor sleep comes poor mental state, causing irritability and inability to focus. What’s more, the blue light from computer screens when combined with a dark environment are a major cause of migraines and headaches.
What to do if you Have Poor Lighting at Work
Even if there are no opportunities to add natural light to the office, there are things you can do to combat the mood altering effects of working in low light. Setting up a light therapy lamp in your workspace is a great first step to improving your mood at work. These lights produce high-intensity ultraviolet-B light which triggers the production of vitamin D in your skin. Supplementing with a liquid vitamin D is another great solution to mood affected by vitamin deficiency.
If you are working on computers in the evening it’s a good idea to install an app such as f.lux to reduce the blue light your computer produces. The app slowly turns the blue light that the computer naturally produces into yellow light as it gets later in the evening. Yellow light doesn’t impede melatonin production so you can still get a good sleep at bedtime. Alternatively, if your office won’t allow you to install apps, you can purchase blue light blocking glasses that have the same result.
Speaking to Management
Finally, if the above options are not available it might be time to discuss the working conditions to management. Employers want their employees to have good productivity. If they know that poor conditions may be affecting the employees ability to work optimally, they will most come up with a solution.
Do you want to learn more about how lighting affects your mood? Don’t hesitate to contact us regarding any questions you might have.