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A blue-enriched, increased intensity light intervention to improve alertness and performance in rotating night shift workers in an operational setting
journal contributionposted on 22.07.2021, 22:15 by Tracey L Sletten, Bhairavi Raman, Michelle Magee, Sally FergusonSally Ferguson, David J Kennaway, Ronald R Grunstein, Steven W Lockley, Shantha MW Rajaratnam
Purpose: This study examined the efficacy of a lighting intervention that increased both light intensity and short-wavelength (blue) light content to improve alertness, performance and mood in night shift workers in a chemical plant. Patients and Methods: During rostered night shifts, 28 workers (46.0± 10.8 years; 27 male) were exposed to two light conditions each for two consecutive nights (∼ 19:00– 07:00 h) in a counterbalanced repeated measures design: traditional-spectrum lighting set at pre-study levels (43 lux, 4000 K) versus higher intensity, blue-enriched lighting (106 lux, 17,000 K), equating to a 4.5-fold increase in melanopic illuminance (24 to 108 melanopic illuminance). Participants completed the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale, subjective mood ratings, and the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) every 2– 4 hours during the night shift. Results: A significant main effect of time indicated KSS, PVT mean reaction time, number of PVT lapses (reaction times > 500 ms) and subjective tension, misery and depression worsened over the course of the night shift (p< 0.05). Percentage changes in KSS (p< 0.05, partial η2=0.14) and PVT mean reaction time (p< 0.05, partial η2=0.19) and lapses (p< 0.05, partial η2=0.17) in the middle and end of night shift, expressed relative to start of shift, were significantly improved during the lighting intervention compared to the traditional lighting condition. Self-reported mood did not significantly differ between conditions (p> 0.05). Conclusion: Our findings, showing improvements in alertness and performance with exposure to blue-enriched, increased intensity light, provide support for light to be used as a countermeasure for impaired alertness in night shift work settings.