Light therapy can improve the sleep quality of individuals in nursing homes, researchers found.
Led by Mingjiao Zhang, of Chengdu Medical College in the People’s Republic of China, researchers conducted a systematic review of several databases to identify studies that evaluated the use of “light therapy to improve sleep quality and nighttime sleep in older residents in long-term care settings.” The final analysis included 10 nonrandomized pilot studies and 11 randomized controlled trials for a total sample of 748.
Researchers noted improved sleep after
Short-term exposure to high light levels (30 to 60 minutes at 10,000 lux or higher).
Relatively long exposure to moderate light levels (one to two hours at 2,500 to 10,000 lux).
Long-term exposure to low light levels (one to four hours or a full day at 2,500 lux or lower).
The researchers recommend that long-term care facilities be designed so that individuals receive more natural light during daily activities and that they incorporate dynamic lighting systems to improve individuals’ circadian rhythms.
Source: Zhang M, et al. Light Therapy to Improve Sleep Quality in Older Adults Living in Residential Long-Term Care: A Systematic Review [published online: November 18, 2022]. J Am Med Dir Assoc. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2022.10.008
Jeffrey S. Eisenberg, a freelance writer in Philadelphia, compiled this report.