When it comes to your morning, you’re a champ. You’ve breezed through your inbox, responded to all your Slack messages, and made it through a chunk of your to-do list (with time to spare). But when lunchtime comes around, you suddenly find your post-break self having a hard time getting back into an efficient workflow. While the sudden crash in energy might have you running to the coffeeshop downstairs for a little afternoon pick-me-up, you might want to skip the java and try adjusting your lighting situation instead.
According to research from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, the tint of your office lighting might be having more of an impact on your midday fatigue than your caffeine levels. By simply switching out your regular, warmer bulbs for bulbs with a slightly cooler, blueish tint, the swap might help you feel a little more alert and focused.
The reason behind blue bulbs’ conduciveness to a productive workday is that the cooler light signals your body that it’s time to be awake and alert, meaning that it causes your body to produce less melatonin (the natural sleep hormone). On the other hand, warmer light – the kind of light you get from traditional, yellow-tinted bulbs – actually send a signal to your body to produce more melatonin, meaning you end up feeling more lethargic and tired than usual. Needless to say, it’s pretty tough to power through afternoon meetings when your body is telling you to wind down.
Now, while you might not be able to change out the lights all around the office, you can at least get a desk lamp and make sure to use a blue-tinted light in it. Believe us – you’re workload will thank you for it.