Nov 2, 2017: Night shifts are actually bad for our health as it is linked to chronic disorders like cardiovascular disease and cancer. When our sleep is disrupted it definitely affects our health as it is set by light. So scientists are trying to find out if smart LED lighting can help solve this problem.
Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway are making efforts to find out what type of lighting we should install in offices so that workers working during nights can adjust to it and help them adapt to night work.
The project consists of three experimental, laboratory-based shift work simulation studies. The researchers ate assessing sleep, subjectively and objectively, and the performance of the workers is tested, and waking functions are assessed with objective measures.
The researchers are experimenting in nine office workstations in a room lit by ceiling-mounted LED luminaires, which can be adjusted to provide light of varying intensity and colour temperature.
About 34 students are participating in the experiment of night shift simulations. Night shift workers who can work in environments with high intensity light, or in light with a high colour temperature, will be more alert and perform better during night shifts, explains Professor Ståle Pallesen of the university. They will also sleep better once the night shift is over, although they will have problems adapting to a normal sleeping pattern when they return to day schedule.
The study will also measure the effects of working in monochromatic light. It will explore the effect of different light scenarios including 4000K at 1000lx and 100lx, 2500K at 200lx, 7000K at 200lx, 454nm blue light and 23nm red light
Shift work disorders include insomnia and/or sleepiness for a period of at least three months due to working at night.
Studies suggest that shift work disorder among groups of workers who have night shifts is as high as 44 per cent. Shift workers also have an increased risk for developing a wide range of health problems, such as breast cancer, coronary diseases, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorders.
When workers move from day shift to night shift, a mismatch take place between the internal biological timing of alertness and the work schedule. As a result, night shift workers experience increasing sleepiness throughout the night, due to their circadian rhythms. And increased sleepiness has major implications for performance.
When the students are subjected to the blue wavelengths they will experience some of the same improvements expected from the groups with high intensity and high colour temperature.
The light in the laboratory is provided by ceiling-mounted Luxo Modul RC600 luminaires from Glamox with tunable white LED technology and glare-free microprismatic optics.