ASID: SLEEP: Opening your eyes to the light/health connection
Recently I was asked to comment and provide insight on a proposed Harvard study exploring the relationship of sleep spindles, ambient environmental music, and learning. When I suggested incorporating the intervention of daylight with views to enhance the sleep derived learning outcomes, the lead researcher on the project did not immediately understand the connection. An 'ah-ha' moment went off in my head; if a world renown researcher was not immediately aware of the importance of the daylight-view connection in the process of sleep and learning, then of course the same could explain the A&D communities failure to embrace the daylight/dark/sleep/healing interconnection within a healthcare setting.
As many of you know, I consult and provide Epigenetic design insight examining the interconnection of light, color, and environmental stimuli on the human animal. My specialty is looking at how the circadian system (sleep/wake cycle) affects various human processes, disease conditions and behavioral outcomes. The scientific community has long understood the neurological connection between getting a good night’s sleep and getting well, but unfortunately, the A&D community has not yet fully embraced this message. And on a higher level, has failed to understand the role of the built environment in providing the necessary stimuli, which allows the sleep process to occur. I, in part, could be guilty of not fully explaining the evidence based role of ambient light cycles in the process of sleep and effectively communicating how this translates into the creation of new healthcare facilities designed to provide a truly health-promoting environment. So, as they say, times are a changin’ and consider this a heads up. My next blog post will begin your educational process of how daylighting with views, darkness at the appropriate times, and efficient sleep go hand in hand in the process of healing.