Sign up FAST! Login

The right dose of electric light may boost mood and cognitive function.

Enlightened minds

A growing field of research suggests that surrounding ourselves with the right dose of electric light can boost mood and cognitive function, especially for those most susceptible to sleep disorders.


Stashed in: Sleep!, Light, Health Studies, Alzheimer's, Sleep, Mental Health, Blue Light

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Study source: "Research Note: A self-luminous light table for persons with Alzheimer’s disease"

Oh wow, specifically for people with Alzheimer's disease:

Light can be used to consolidate sleep in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, but the light delivery method is one of the greatest challenges for successful treatment. Based on our field observations, it was hypothesised that a self-luminous light table would be a practical way to deliver light because persons with Alzheimer’s disease typically spend a significant amount of time sitting at tables. Compared to a baseline week, sleep percent and efficiency significantly increased and agitation and depression scores significantly decreased during the four intervention weeks. The self-luminous light table was an effective and practical method to deliver circadian-effective light to persons with Alzheimer’s disease.

From the original article:

As people age, their sleep-wake patterns often make unwelcome shifts, with up to 70 percent of older adults experiencing sleep disturbances or disorders. That may be because of underlying changes in the circadian system. Researchers have found that older adults have less activity in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the brain area that controls circadian cycles. Blue light has less of a stimulating effect on areas of their brains involved with alertness and cognition, according to a 2014 fMRI study in Sleep by Véronique Daneault of the University of Montreal, and colleagues. Older adults produce less melatonin overall than younger ones, and it can take longer for older adults to fall and stay asleep. In addition, lifestyle changes, such as cutting back on work, exercise and social activity can also contribute to sleep differences, and physical changes to the eye such as cataracts and macular degeneration can make it harder to receive light.

You May Also Like: