As a species, we’re happier and healthier when we have access to nature. Sunshine, fresh air, and relaxing nature sounds create positive biological changes in our bodies. The concept is called “biophilia”, and was developed by author Edward O. Wilson in his 1984 book titled Biophilia. Wilson describes biophilia as the innate desire for human beings to interact with and be close to the natural world. We feel less stressed when we’re close to nature, so it makes sense that families and businesses are working to bring a little wilderness indoors where we spend most of our time.
Using smart home technology is a great way to get the benefits our natural environment provides when you don’t have the time or energy for outdoor activities. When technology meets biology in the home, everyone benefits. How does this work and what does it look like? Here are three ways to bring nature into your home.
Did you know that with a tap on your phone you can set your window treatments to open and close with the cycle of the sun? Most people know that the shorter daylight hours in the winter lead to SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Sunlight is critical for stabilizing our mood. According to Time, natural sunlight also regulates your metabolism, melatonin production, and serotonin levels.
Melatonin is your sleepytime hormone. Your body produces it when the sun is down for the night, alerting your body that it’s time to get ready for bed. Serotonin is your feel-good hormone. When you get plenty of sunshine, your serotonin levels elevate, which makes you feel calm and relaxed. With smart technology, you can maximize access to natural light without the hassle of remembering to open the blinds in the morning (and then close them all again at night).
Have you ever noticed how in the winter your skin gets drier and your lips are chapped? It’s from all that central heating. We’re so lucky to live in a time where there could be 3 feet of snow outside and we’ll still be comfortable in just pajama bottoms and a t-shirt. As cozy as you may feel, all that hot air blowing out of your vents dries out your skin. Instead of applying more lotion and lip balm, you could be using technology to easily adjust the humidity settings for your home – right from your smartphone! Smart home technology helps you feel less like you’re breathing in dried out, sterile air and more like you’re surrounded by natural, fresh, clean air. Your skin will thank you, too.
Can’t focus without background noise? Satisfy your biophilia and your need for focus by playing the sounds of nature throughout your home. Not only are ocean soundtracks and gently tweeting birds pleasant to listen to, but it’s also scientifically proven to be good for your health. In a January 2016 study, Erin Largo-Wright found that just five to seven minutes of listening to ocean waves is enough to minimize muscle tension, lower pulse rate, and reduce stress levels. With Livewire’s distributed audio and video systems, you can play your favorite nature track through the whole house, or switch it up and have a different nature theme for each room. Either way, you’ll notice the difference it makes on your stress levels almost immediately.
Not convinced you can combine your love of nature with smart technology in your home? Livewire provides free consultations with leading experts in home integration who would be thrilled to help come up with solutions for your household needs. Schedule your consultation today.