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Blue light

Blue light can help fight fatigue and improve your alertness

Friday, February 07, 2014 by: J. Anderson
Tags: blue light, fatigue, alertness

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(NaturalNews) If you feel fatigued and have trouble maintaining focus at work, you aren't the only one. To help combat this, a new study suggests that blue light (short wavelength) exposure can immediately improve your performance and even your alertness, thus decreasing workplace accidents and improving workplace safety! The lead author of the study, which is published in the journal Sleep, Dr. Shadab Rahman, explained, "Our previous research has shown that blue light is able to improve alertness during the night, but our new data demonstrates that these effects also extend to daytime light exposure."

The study was conducted by exposing a group of participants to blue and green light for an equal amount of time. The participants were then asked to rate how sleepy they felt and were tested for reaction time. As Dr. Rahman was quoted as saying earlier, the group's previous research has indicated that blue light exposure can increase alertness throughout the night, which can help improve the safety of night-shift workers. This study helped extend those findings throughout the day, which could improve work performance, efficiency and overall safety.

The ability of both light and color to influence the mind, body and overall health is becoming more fully appreciated. Blue light has also been used in the last 10 years to treat jaundice in neonatal units. Many premature babies in the United States are exposed to blue light to help avoid dangerous blood transfusions. It has even been found that, when people with Seasonal Affective Disorder are exposed to the full spectrum of white light, their symptoms almost completely disappear. More research is needed on light and color to fully understand this topic, but the studies are ongoing.

Although the research team indicated that natural lighting is the most beneficial, this study provides a way to improve the alertness, efficiency, safety and performance of workers throughout the day. Dr. Steven Lockley, who was the senior member of the research team, explained, "While helping to improve alertness in night workers has obvious safety benefits, day shift workers may also benefit from better quality lighting that would not only help them see better but also make them more alert."

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