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Welcome to our Healthy Homes & Workplaces 10-part series. In these stories, we delve deep into the science and engineering behind our machines to reveal our Dyson top tips, tricks and recommendations for keeping your home and workplace clean and healthy though lockdowns and beyond. Find out more on Instagram through #DysonHealthyHome.

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A woman using a Dyson Lightcycle Morph.

How to Deal with Daylight Savings Ending

Dyson neuroscientist Karen Dawe and behavioral sleep doctor Lisa Medalie break down the effects of daylight savings time ending

October 28 2020

This Sunday, November 1 at 2:00am EST, Americans will gain one more hour of sleep as the clock falls back, signalling the end of daylight savings time. While it’s great to have an extra hour in bed, the time change will cause a shift in the light we are exposed to and potentially also our daily routine. The change in light can have an impact on our body clock, more specifically our ability to get a good night of sleep and our productivity throughout the day. As we head into a traditionally darker season, we turned to our go-to experts on the matter of sleep and light. Dyson lead engineer Karen Dawe and behavioral sleep doctor Lisa Medalie break down the effects of daylight savings time and how to mitigate the imbalance our bodies feel when the clock falls back.

Dr. Karen Dawe on using light in your daily routine

  • Have the right light for the right time of day: Over the past 5 years, Dyson has researched the effects of light and how to use it to our advantage. We learned it’s important to have the right light for the right time of day to increase productivity levels and promote wellbeing. Humans have evolved using the sun to set their routine. In the middle of the day the sun is at its brightest and sends a strong signal to our body clock that it’s time to be alert, awake, and productive. When your body clock is out of sync with the light you see, this can physically impact us (jet lag is the perfect example of this). So you need to be sure your artificial light is giving you the right light for the right time. That’s why the Dyson Lightcycle uses daylight tracking to continually adjusts its color and brightness in relation to the user’s local daylight.

 

  • Create a light routine: Your circadian rhythm controls the rhythm of your body, including your temperature, metabolism, activity level and of course, sleep. Light is the primary signal to match your circadian rhythm with your local daylight cycle. Without light, our rhythms drift out of sync. A routine based around light can help you keep these rhythms in check. For example, waking up with a warm, low light that gradually increases in brightness and color temperature can help ease you awake instead of a blaring alarm clock. Equally important is making sure you have a warm dim light as it gets closer to bed. You need darkness to produce melatonin so bright cool lighting will prevent that happening.
A man uses a Dyson Lightcycle Morph light.

Dr. Lisa Medalie on establishing a sleep and lighting routine

  • Try a gradual shift: While it’s only an hour change, for some the shift can feel more intense. Try shifting your schedule a few minutes earlier each day for in the few days leading up to the change so it doesn’t feel like such a leap.

 

  • Track your energy levels: Typically, we will have times of the day where we feel more or less energetic. Try tracking your energy levels and after a few days you should see a pattern of when you may have the most or least energy. Just ahead of those low points, try adjusting the light around you to be brighter and more blue light to promote productivity during those mid-day slumps.

 

  • Create a bedtime routine (that does not include your phone): It’s understood that sleep can be hard to achieve when anxiety levels are high. And now more than ever, people are feeling isolated which can increase the desire to stay electronically connected even more. But having your phone involved in your bedtime routine is hurting your sleep – both from the light it exposes to our eyes and from a mental perspective. Try to take one hour for yourself before bed to not use electronics and instead do something for yourself, like reading, taking a bath or meditating. Then leave your devices charging on the kitchen counter so you’re not tempted to reach for them before falling asleep. And if you’re worried about how you’ll wake up without the alarm clock on your phone, consider purchasing an old-fashioned alarm clock or using a timed light to wake you up.  

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Katie Doan

Email: katie.doan@dyson.com

1330 West Fulton Street, 5th Floor, Chicago IL, 60607

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