Blue light improves alertness during day and night


blue light improves alertnessA recent ruling published in the February edition of “Sleep” revealed that exposure to short wavelength or blue light during day time enhances alertness and performance of an individual. Shadab Rahman, PhD, a researcher in Brigham and Women’s Hospital said that these findings proved that prolonged blue light exposure during day time offers an alerting effect. The researcher said the previous research had shown that blue light enhances alertness during night time only. But with the latest study, data has revealed that these effects also holds true for daytime light exposure also.

In order to get a precise overview of wavelength i.e. which light ward off fatigue, researchers experimented with 16 study participants for 6.5 hours with two lights blue and green of same wavelength.

Participants were then rated according to the symptoms they experienced viz., how sleepy they felt and what was their reaction. Participants also wore electrodes to assess changes in brain activity patterns during the light exposure.

Result Revealed

After this experiment the result revealed participants who were exposed to blue light experienced less sleepiness. They had quicker reaction time and these participants experienced fewer lapses of attention during their performance tests as compared to green light. Researchers also noticed changes in brain activity patterns which showed more alert state.

Steven Lockley, PhD, neuroscientist at BWH and senior investigator of the study.  said that these results focused on the fact that how light impacts the brain and open up a new range of possibilities for using light to improve human alertness along with productivity and safety.

Researchers said these results were good enough as with these results night workers can remain alert at their work places so are the day workers or workers who work on day shifts.

Researchers said that no doubt these results were incredible, but the main point to ponder remains how to deliver better lighting. No doubt natural light is ideal, but many people can’t access to daylight in schools, home or work places. But with new inventions and discoveries taking place will help researchers to get a breakthrough in this as well by developing a ‘smart’ lighting system which will be designed to maximize the beneficial effect of light for human health, their productivity and safety.

Yet another study earlier from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute showed that exposure to morning short-wavelength blue light has the potential to help sleep-deprived adolescents to get ready for the challenges of the day and deal with stress.

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