You and your three-page, color-coded to-do list are ready to rock this day. Everything’s going great…until after lunch. Your eyelids feel like ten-pound weights, your brain is fuzzy and you still have a billion and three things to do, dammit. But wait: Before you slam back another triple-shot latte, try this easy, scientifically proven fix instead.
According to our friends at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, the answer to sustained productivity is inside your desk lamp, not your coffee cup. If you replace your standard light bulb with a blue-enriched light bulb of about 7,000 kelvins (aka the unit that measures light temperature), you’ll be more awake and productive as long as the bulb is turned on.
Wait, why the heck should that make any difference? In a nutshell, your body will produce more or less melatonin depending on the temperature of the light in the room. If it’s warm and dark, your body will start to release more melatonin, signaling you to relax and wind down. But a room filled with blue, cool light does the opposite, sending your body the signal that it’s time to work, not rest. (It's the same reason why TV and computer screens before bed can keep you awake.)
Science totally backs this up: A study conducted in the Journal of Circadian Rhythms found that office color temperature directly correlated to the well-being and overall productivity levels of employees—yep, blue spectrum light kept workers more engaged and alert.
So go replace your desk lamp with a blue-hued light (like this one by GE Align, $18). We’ll go break the news to your barista.