Exploring the Impact of Natural Light Exposure on Sleep of Healthy Older Adults: A Field Study
Mariëlle P. J. Aarts , Janny C. Stapel , Toine A. M. C. Schoutens , Joost Van Hoof
AbstractStudies among people with dementia demonstrated that the sleep quality and rhythm improves significantly when people are exposed to ambient bright light. Since almost half of the healthy older people also indicate to suffer from chronic sleep disorders, the question arises whether ambient bright light can be beneficial to healthy older people. Particularly the effect on sleep/wake rhythm in relation to the exposure to natural light is the focus. It was hypothesised that the sleep quality would be worse in winter due to a lower daylight dose than in summer due to the lower illuminance and exposure duration. A field study was conducted to examine the relationship between daylight exposure and sleep quality in 14 healthy older adults living independently in their own dwellings in the Netherlands. All participants were asked to take part of the study both during the summer period as well as during the winter period. Therefore, they had to wear an actigraph for five consecutive days which measured sleep, activity and light exposure. Results confirmed that people were significantly longer exposed to high illumination levels (>1000 lx) in summer than in winter. Sleep quality measures, however, did not differ significantly between summer and winter. A significant, positive correlation was found between exposure duration to high illuminance from daylight during the day and the sleep efficiency the following night in summer, implying that being exposed to high illuminance for a longer time period has a positive effect on sleep efficiency for the individual data. There was also a tendency of less frequent napping in case of longer exposure duration to light for both seasons. Sleep quality does not differ between summer and winter but is related to the duration of the exposure to bright light the day prior to the night.
|Journal series||Journal of Daylighting, ISSN 2383-8701, (0 pkt)|
|Publication size in sheets||0.5|
|Keywords in English||Older people, Sleep, Daylight exposure, Outdoors|
|Internal identifier||65559; PX-5afeb91bd5de1796ee12fec1|
|License||Journal (articles only); published final; ; after publication|
|Score||= 5.0, 15-06-2020, ArticleFromJournal|
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