Oxford scientists claim we now get between one and two hours’ less sleep than we did 60 years ago. Microsoft research also suggests that today's technology driven age has left us with attention spans even shorter than that of a goldfish. It seems that our inability to separate our work and personal lives is having a devastating effect on our health. So can you really use home technology to help you unwind?
7 Ways Home Automation Can Help You To Relax
March 11, 2019
Professor Mark Cropley, a leading psychologist at the University of Surrey says “Inadequate psychological recovery, or poor disengagement from work, is associated with a range of health problems including cardiovascular disease, fatigue, negative mood and sleep disturbance,” he explains, citing a study that found men who were unable to mentally relax after work had a threefold increase risk of heart disease.
It is becoming such a well known cause of illness that The Japanese even have a name for it: karōshi, or “death from overwork”.
Can’t Switch Off?
Technology of course is a huge part of the problem – we literally can’t switch off. Even keeping one eye on social media for example – something completely unnecessary and unimportant – makes it difficult for us to relax and unplug from the world. Yet so many of us suffer from the obsession of looking at our phones – apparently Britons are now so addicted to them that they check their phones every 12 minutes.
According to Ofcom, smartphones are now used by 78 per cent of the population compared with only 17 per cent back in 2008! In just 10 small years technology has taken over our lives. So how can it be possible that we can utilise technology to help you unwind?
Take advantage of it and use it to give you the edge by creating daily rituals that help you unwind, and slow down.
As the end of your working day grows to a close, only begin tasks that are quick to complete. Make a to do list for the following day and clear your head, tidy your desk and close the door on your office (physically and mentally).
Due to this dramatic change in the use of technology, SONA have seen a huge shift in the world of luxury home automation. Whereas luxury home technology used to be seen as a bolt-on option, these days clients recognise that their entire lives are often dependent on or revolving around technology. This is THE element of their home that HAS to be right, and if it isn’t, is going to cause them a whole load more stress than simply picking the wrong colour wallpaper or a piece of furniture that doesn’t quite fit in.
Great Luxury Home Technology Now Needs to Keep Us Connected AND Switch Us Off
Clients are now recognising the importance of their homes as a place to unwind, relax and reconnect with themselves and their loved ones. Technology is now becoming a key element of so many homes, when it comes to creating relaxing daily rituals.
Now technology is used on an entirely different level within the home. Clients recognise that homes can’t be technology free to help us them unwind – but their primary aim for their home is a haven to relax in and switch off. Therefore SONA have evolved to specialise in combining technology that is functional, fun and aids optimal well-being.
Yes of course, the homes we work on are always optimally connected for anything the client wants to achieve whether that be streaming a movie, gaming, music on demand, enterprise class wired and wireless networks for connectivity for emails and social media or high level virtual (and physical) security to protect their privacy. All through one touch control. But this is something we’ve been doing for 20 years.
Human centric lighting to aid the body, automated blinds to ensure privacy, daily rhythms programmed to the sensory preferences of each individual, non-intrusive technology that can be invisible to the eye…. This is a whole new level of utilising technology for relaxation and reconnecting with oneself and ironically ‘switching off’.
Home Technology Rituals to Help You Unwind
- Have an activity to engage in to make the leap from work to unwind. For example immerse yourself in your home cinema with the latest blockbuster and leave your phone in another room or go for a swim or a steam in your leisure suite. A blast activity can be really reviving after a long day. You still need an activity that will absorb your mind and help you to switch off – if you have nothing to focus on, your mind will drift back to work.
- It’s vital to create a relaxing ritual that tells the brain that it’s time to relax. You can use automated to program your mind for relaxation by creating the perfect ambience for you arriving home in terms of lighting temperature and music choice as you walk through the door. Read more about how how you can use lighting to improve your mood here.
- If you enjoy wine, creating a wine cellar for savouring your collection can be enhanced with the perfect automated temperatures to store your wine, and an electronic wine cataloguing system like eSommelier. Add a beautiful tasting table and perfect lighting to immerse yourself in the experience.
- Use automated lighting scenes to transform your evening and help your body to unwind more effectively. As the evening draws in the lights continue to dim, which helps your natural circadian rhythms prepare for sleep. Check out our 7 Tips for Customising Your Lighting Controls here.
- Relaxing music can be programmed to come on as you approach bedtime, along with scented candles, automated lighting that dims to ‘bedtime’ mode. The more senses you can engage in a bedtime ritual, the better.
- Why not even try a Bathomatic which enables a bath to be filled remotely to the required depth, with added aromas, and the water to be kept hot while you are in it.
- Natural lighting accelerates the process of healing. It improves mood, reduces stress and facilitates relaxation. You can use automated human centric lighting to help your body to sleep and wake better by mimicking natural daylight on waking to get your circadian rhythms to kick in. SONA have recently installed a CoeLux virtual skylight (1 of only 2 in the entire of the UK used for residential purpose) in a beautiful modern home in Cheshire which is an optical system based on nano technology to artificially reproduce the natural lighting and visual appearance of the sun and sky. It creates incredible potential for any indoor space and gives the feeling of a bright and airy space.
The Importance of Technology in the Home
Whilst your developer and interior designer will design the look of the house, make no mistake, SONA will design the feel, functionality and flow of it when it comes to your vital daily routines and well-being. Technology is no longer just about entertainment.
Technology IS how we live, and in our homes it’s more important than ever that it aids your rest and well being and allows you to reconnect with your self and your family when you get the chance.
Whether it’s simple lighting controls, network, music and Tv throughout, to more sophisticated, bespoke options that are full of personality like your ultimate man cave or games room where you can unwind, relax and recharge. Or perhaps a fully automated luxury garages to house your collection of cars that welcome you AND know not only which car to welcome home, but also who is driving it, and what temperature, lighting and music that person prefers to welcome them home, at that specific time of the day. Perhaps perfectly lit reading or meditation spots throughout the home or ground, or a dedicated private home cinema which is the must-have ultimate indulgence in 2019 where you can switch off and immerse yourself in another world with zero distraction.
With SONA everything is possible when it comes to answering the question ‘How can home life be even better and aid well being?’