Research demonstrates how important it is to create natural lighting conditions indoors

Research demonstrates how important it is to create natural lighting conditions indoors

A recent study undertaken in New York claims that the continual use of subdued lighting found in care homes is having a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of dementia and Alzheimer’s residents.

The six-month study has shown that the use of dimmed electrical light is causing irregular sleep patterns following a disturbance of the body’s circadian rhythm that regulates the body clock. Side effects of these disturbances for residents included insomnia, depression and agitation.

As the majority of residents suffering from these common conditions spend a vast majority of time indoors, this alters the body’s natural sleep pattern and can cause harm to their physical and mental wellbeing.

The next stage of the research saw residents subjected to alternating light patterns that monitored the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. One clear result that was found during the study was that the residents that were given more natural light and a custom-made LED light table during the evening hours enjoyed far better sleeping habits and reported decreased levels of depression and agitation.

Director Steven Ellwood of BLT Direct, an online supplier of a range of different lighting solutions, said “There really is no substitute for natural light when it comes to health; however, it’s essential that care homes are sufficiently illuminated so that staff can go about their duties and keep their residents safe.

“LED light technology has come a long way in recent years, so it comes as no surprise that this technology has been harnessed for the care industry to give their charges a restful night’s sleep. LED lighting is also a greener way of using energy and needs little in the way of maintenance making it an ideal solution for busy care home staff who want the best for their residents.”

The research into LED light tables to aid healthy sleep patterns is continuing in the US, with the results pointing towards the further use of LED light technology to maintain the health of care home residents and provide adequate illumination for their employees.

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