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光が睡眠に大きな影響?!ベッドルームの照明に取り入れたい3つのポイント

ベッドルーム

それぞれが多様なライフスタイルで過ごしている昨今、1日を終えてベッドルームで体を横たえる時というのは、誰でもちょっとした幸せを感じる時間でもありますよね。疲労回復や新陳代謝など、脳と体の休息のため、睡眠は私たちの生活には必要不可欠なものです。

おだやかで質の良い睡眠を得るためには、体が眠りに入りやすいベッドルーム環境を作ることが大切です。その環境づくりのポイントのひとつに「光」があるのはご存知ですか。

普段、なにげなく浴びている照明ですが、睡眠に大切なキーワードがいろいろ隠されているのです。本記事では、光が私たちにあたえる影響や、より上質な睡眠を得るためのベッドルームの照明について、そのポイントをお話ししたいと思います。

ぐっすり眠って翌日の活力につなげられるよう、参考にしてみてくださいね。

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光は生活リズムに影響している?!

キャンドル

私たちの体は、昔から太陽の光とともに活動をはじめ、夜暗くなると休息するというように、自然界のサイクルのもとに光の影響を受けてきました。光は、現代の私たちの生活リズムにも密接にかかわり、心身にさまざまな作用をもたらすことが知られています。

基本的に、私たちの体は、昼間に太陽の光をたっぷり浴び活動することで、夜間にぐっすりと眠るためのホルモン「メラトニン」が排出され、スムーズな睡眠へと入っていくようにできています。メラトニンは脳の中心部分にある「松果体」という部分より分泌されるホルモンで、睡眠サイクルを調節する機能をもっていることから「睡眠ホルモン」とも呼ばれています。

朝に光を浴びることで、体内時計がリセットされ、体は1日の活動状態に入ります。目覚めから14~16時間経過すると、メラトニンが分泌しはじめ、徐々にその分泌は高まってゆきます。メラトニンの分泌が高まることで、体温が睡眠に適した状態に調節され、自然な眠気を誘うのです。

しかし、メラトニンの分泌は、光の強さによって調節されています。そのため、夜間になっても強い照明を浴びていると、まだ、睡眠に入る時間ではないと判断してしまい、分泌されるべきメラトニンの量が減ってしまうのです。その結果、体内時計に狂いが生じ、体が睡眠に入る準備ができなくなってしまいます。最近、夜遅くまでのパソコンやスマホ操作が問題になっていますが、同じ理由が問題のひとつでもあるのです。

そのような体のしくみから考えても、ベッドルームの照明は、1日を終えて休息に入る脳と体にとって、とても大切な役割を担っていると言えますね。
たかがベッドルームの照明、とは考えずに、ちょっとしたポイントを考慮し、よりよい朝を迎えたいものです。

ベッドルームに適した照明とは

スムーズに自然な眠気を迎えるには、メラトニンの十分な分泌が大切なこと、また、夜に強い光を浴びると、メラトニンの分泌が抑制されてしまうことをお話ししました。

では、心地よい睡眠へ入るために適したベッドルームの照明とはどのようなものなのでしょうか。以下にそのポイントを3つお話ししたいと思います。

あたたかみのある白熱灯の照明を選ぶ

作業や勉強、仕事をする空間は脳が覚醒する明るい蛍光灯の照明が適していますが、リラックスし、1日の疲れを癒すベッドルームの照明には、できれば蛍光灯は避け、あたたかみのある白熱灯を使用することをおすすめします。白熱灯は、夕日に近い色温度であることからも、1日の終わりにふさわしい、おだかでやわらかな雰囲気を作り出すことができます。

しかし、照度(明るさ)が高すぎると、まぶしいだけではなく暑苦しく不快なだけの照明になり、逆効果となってしまいます。白熱灯を選ぶ際には、ほのかな明るさのものがよりリラックスでき、ベッドルームには最適と言えます。

光源が見えない照明になるよう工夫する

見上げた時に光源が直接目に入ってしまったり、光源がむき出しになった照明は、ベッドルームにはあまり適していません。やわらかな光を作りだすためにも、乳白色のシェードやカバーなどに覆われ、直接光源が見えない照明だと、よりいっそうやさしい光が広がり、ベッドルームに適しています。また、天井からの吊り下げ照明器具を使用する場合は、体を横たえる真上に光源がこないようベッドの位置を工夫してみましょう。

間接照明を効果的に取り入れる

光源が見えない照明と繋がったお話しになりますが、ベッドルームによりやわらかな光を演出するのに欠かせないテクニックが間接照明です。間接照明を取り入れるだけで、ベッドルームの雰囲気はガラリと変わり、安らぎと落ち着きのあるものになります。また、照明は上から照らすものという概念を取り払ってみましょう。いろいろなスタイルを楽しめるのも間接照明の良さと言えます。

間接照明には、「反射光」と「透過光」という2種類の光の利用方法があります。

  • 反射光:壁や天井などを照らし、反射して拡散する光を利用・・・広い範囲をやわらかい光で照らす
  • 透過光:シェードやカバーなどを通したやわらかな光を利用・・・狭い範囲をスポット的に照らす

どちらもそれぞれに利点があり、取り入れ方や場所によって、よりベッドルームに効果的な照明となります。

低い位置からの光は、人の心理状態をリラックスに導くと言われています。フロアに置くタイプのスタンドを使い壁や足元をほのかに照らすことは、ベッドルームにはぴったりの照明のひとつです。

背の高いタイプのスタンドでも、ベッドルームの角部分において、両側の壁面に光を拡散させたり、また、観葉植物の後ろや、家具の後ろ側に配置すると、まるでホテルの一室のような上品でムードのある空間を作り出すことができます。ベッドの下にスペースがある場合は、ベッド下からの間接照明もおすすめです。

なお、睡眠に入ってからは、より暗い環境が望ましいとされていますが、途中で目が覚めたとき、また、お手洗いなどに起きるときには、真っ暗だと不安も大きいですね。コンセントに差し込むタイプのフットライトも間接照明のひとつとして、ぜひ活用しましょう。

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まとめ:ベッドルームは1日をリセットする大切な場所!やわらかな照明で安らぎを

本記事では、私たちの睡眠に光が密接にかかわっていること、また、それをふまえた上でのベッドルームの照明の取り入れ方のポイント3つをご紹介しました。では、そのポイントをもう1度振り返ってみましょう。

  • あたたかみのある白熱灯の照明を選ぶ
  • 光源が見えない照明になるよう工夫する
  • 間接照明を効果的に取り入れる

光は生活リズムを作る上で、また心理効果の上でも大切な役割を持っていることがおわかりいただけたでしょうか。便利になった反面、私たちの生活は昼夜の区別がつきにくいものとなりがちです。ベッドルームの照明にちょっとした工夫を取り入れ、体が本来もっている力を失うことのないよう質のよい睡眠を得たいものですね。ぜひ取り入れてみてください。

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