Do you ever wonder how most coffee shops have dim lighting? Last week I was hanging out at a dimly-lit Starbucks sweet-binging my week frustrations away when a light bulb went off in my head (pun intended). The fact that I was questioning that is a testament to a coffee shop marketing strategy that works.
I’ve read articles about how the pineal gland produces more melatonin, a hormone which controls our body’s circadian rhythm, most especially in dim lighting. Controlling the brightness of the light signals the pineal gland to produce more melatonin and induces drowsiness. The brain is tricked to think it needs to stay awake and we eventually hanker for another coffee cup or refill. Together with additional espresso shots, the efficiency of dim lighting in coffee shops is magnified and your mind cannot stop spewing ideas.
Sometime last year I used to hang out in another coffee shop to work on long pages of translation documents and I remember spending 5 hours in 4 or 5 consecutive days to get the job done. It was ideal to stay there starting lunch time up to pre-sunset. When the sun sets the staff pulls down the window blinds and it gets dimly-lit from then on and I found it hard to concentrate – along with less brightness was my waning interest in work and I get tempted to pack up and go. But what happens after I switch to another brightly-lit area is my brain starts to function again and I would want to pick up where I left off.
I made a mental note of that and told myself if I ever work on long pages of translations again I would move to a brighter place to hang out. I counted local coffee shops I’ve been in and controlled brightness of the light in the room is never absent.