THE RIGHT lighting in nursing homes can improve the sleep, mood and behaviour for patients with Alzheimer's disease, says the preliminary findings of a new study.
People with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias commonly experience sleep problems, wandering, and daytime irritability. This study tested whether a tailored daytime lighting installation could improve sleep and behaviour in Alzheimer's patients living in long-term care facilities.
Compared to baseline and to the inactive lighting condition, the lighting significantly decreased sleep disturbances, depression and agitation. While all measures improved, the most significant improvement was seen in sleep quality.
‘Here we show that if the stimulus [light dose] is carefully delivered and measured, it can have a strong impact on sleep, depression and agitation,’ principal investigator and lead author Mariana Figueiro, PhD, a professor and director at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, told Lux. ‘Depression was a secondary measure, and I was pleasantly surprised by the positive impact of the light treatment on depression scores.’
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