“Blue” Light Could Help Teenagers Combat Stress

“Blue” Light Could Help Teenagers Combat Stress

 

New Study from the Lighting Research Center: Short-Wavelength Light Enhances Cortisol Awakening Response in Sleep-Restricted Adolescents

 Adolescents can be chronically sleep deprived because of their inability to fall asleep early in combination with fixed wakeup times on school days. According to the CDC, almost 70 percent of school children get insufficient sleep—less than 8 hours on school nights. This type of restricted sleep schedule has been linked with depression, behavior problems, poor performance at school, drug use, and automobile accidents. A new study from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute shows that exposure to morning short-wavelength “blue” light has the potential to help sleep-deprived adolescents prepare for the challenges of the day and deal with stress, more so than dim light.

 The study was a collaboration between Associate Professor and Director of the Lighting Research Center Light and Health Program Mariana Figueiro and LRC Director and Professor Mark S. Rea. Results of the study titled “Short-Wavelength Light Enhances Cortisol Awakening Response in Sleep-Restricted Adolescents,” were recently published in the open access International Journal of Endocrinology. The full text is available athttp://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2012/301935/.