Smart home technology is all the rage. A growing number of property owners use intelligent thermostats and connected lighting to reduce home utility bills, while fully networked homes can even preheat the oven via phone and respond to voice commands. But besides convenience, what can smart homes really offer their residents? One possibility: these tools could foster better health. Whether you’re just trying to stick to your New Year’s health resolutions, or monitor an elderly relative, wellness is at the heart of the current smart home trend.
Take A Deep Breath
Many people with seasonal allergies think they only have to worry about irritants when they’re outside or have the windows open, but we track allergens into our homes all the time on our clothes and shoes. You can reduce your exposures at home by always wiping your feet when you come inside, installing a home air filter, and vacuuming and washing your curtains regularly.
For those with serious allergies, of course, it can be useful to more directly monitor your home’s air quality, and that’s where the Awair comes into the picture. Awair is a smart air quality monitor that measures dust, carbon dioxide, humidity, and VOCs, all of which can impact your ability to breathe, trigger asthma, and even impact mood and sleep. The more you know, the better you can manage health conditions. Additionally, homeowners and property managers can use many of these metrics to determine if a home needs certain upgrades, such as better insulation or new air filters.
Pay Attention To Patterns
Members of the sandwich generation – adults who are raising their own children while caring for aging parents – often struggle to strike a balance in their lives, especially when aging parents want to maintain their independence. One solution? A smarter home. Howz is a home monitoring system that swaps out traditional wearables to sensors that learn a user’s patterns. If the user does something unusual – for example, a dementia patient accidentally leaves the stove on, the change in usage triggers an alert so that a caretaker will check on them. This type of technology can keep older individuals out of assisted living or nursing homes while giving their children peace of mind.
Set Up For Sleep
Sleep problems are on the rise because our modern lifestyles are overstimulating. In particular, we experience excessive exposure to blue light, which can repress the production of melatonin and keep us from falling asleep. To minimize blue light exposure towards bedtime, consider installing smart lighting. You can set your smart lights to shift from typical white light to red-toned light in the evening to help your system prepare for sleep, and have them turn on automatically in the morning for a natural wake-up call. With smart lights, you can also increase their intensity during the winter to banish seasonal affective disorder and boost your mood.
Of course, light exposure isn’t the only element that impacts sleep. In addition to programming your home for sleep-centric light, set your thermostat for a lower temperature in the evenings. We sleep better in cooler environments, and your smart thermostat can take care of this transition so you can rest more and stress less.
We all want to lead healthier lives, but sometimes everything else – work, chores, kids – get in the way. With smart home technology, though, more people can enjoy technology-supported wellness in their own homes, with lower medical costs and greater independence. Home is more than just a place we live now; it’s a digitally-enhanced environment that is nearly as alive as we are.
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