Interestingly enough – when you’re feeling a little down at work or home, it could have something to do with the lighting in your environment. Whether it’s your living room lighting that’s playing with your brain or the amount of light you have in your work area, the amount of lighting that is in your life plays a huge part of your mood. We found some great facts on how your brain processes light and how you can change it in your environment.
It all starts in your eyeballs. We literally mean the center of your eyeballs, or your retinas, is what affects the way light is processed in your brain. The cells in your retinas, which are also known as photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (PRGC), are the cells that are directly linked to that part of your brain which processes the different lights that pass through them. These wavelengths of light often give off different colors that are processed by the brain to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps us get to sleep. That means that when the light you’re seeing is giving off a blue hue, you’re likely to feel more lethargic and grumpy.
All of this light that gets processed by your PRGC’s is also hooked to something called your circadian rhythms. These rhythms are what help your brain produce the chemicals it needs to sleep, to wake up, and to feel alert throughout the day. When light messes up the circadian rhythms of your brain, your limbic system – or the place in your brain that controls moods – becomes out of whack. The bottom line is – the less of that blue light you’re getting, the more likely you are to experience more moodiness and restlessness at night.