Posts tagged: Melatonin

Daylight increases agility of elderly people


German and Austrian researchers found out that elderly people benefit from higher amount of blue in the lighting. For the study, a new type of lighting system was installed in a Viennese retirement home. The researchers monitored the impact of the intensity of illumination and spectral composition on the resident‘s wellbeing. Thereby positive effects became apparent, especially with biologically active light with an increased amount of blue.

Colour temperature as well as light intensity of the recently installed illuminated ceiling can be adapted. Unlike conventional sources of light, this system may create daylight quality with considerably less energy.

The tests were conducted with three different light situations. After 14 months, an entire set of positive impacts could be noticed: „The residents definitely communicated more with each other and with the nursing staff, they took an active part in collective activities such as crafting, playing and singing and participated more in the household assistance of their living groups“, explains psychologist Charlotte Sust, responsible for the study‘s concept. More activity during the day results in more tiredness in the evening and thus in a more relaxing sleep. This means a substantial higher quality of living especially for dementia patients, whose rhythm for day and night often is dysfunctional. This also takes the pressure off the care attendants. Only the low acceptance of the light qualified as cold compared to the normal warm lighting dims the result of the study.

Daylight plays an important role for the common health as well as the mental wellbeing, e.g. it influences the receptor of the eye‘s retina which are responsible for the day-night-functions of the organism. A sufficient dose of light oppresses the hormone melatonin which makes us sleepy and it helps against sleeping disorders and seasonal affective disorder.


Constance Stickler at 30.12.2009, 10:10 Uhr
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