New fluorescent lamps awakens sleepy students

Gasping teenagers can be helped by new fluorescent lamps in schools. When researchers changed lighting in classroom the students became more alert in the morning and got a better nightsleep.

Results are so good that other schools are getting interested in lighting in schools, says Arne Lowden. a researcher in a stress research institute in the Stockholm University.

In the darkest wintertime in two classrooms regular yellowish fluorescent lamps were changed to so called full spectrum fluorescent lamps. The classrooms were the students homeclassrooms so they had almost all their lessons there.

During the weeks of research was e.g. the melatonin level that controls sleep, measured. The levels become lower and the students were more alert. In the evening were the students more tired. When sleeping they didn´t move as much as earlier because their sleep was more effective.

Their classroom was perhaps a little darker than the average before the change of the lamps, but results show anyway that good lighting is essential for all students. More alert students can easier cope with school work, says Arne Lowden.
Students might need to ”fill” themselves with light in the morning when people are most sensitive to light. School often starts at 8 am and students often miss the important morning light.

Pupils in secondary school are not much outside during breaks either and during weekends they might sleep too long in the morning so they´ll miss a lot of light.

It´s not only young people who need good light. Bad light can make personal tired in every job has been realized more and more often in Sweden, Arne Lowden notices.

Johan Bergman notices the difference between his new and old classroom.
– In the old classroom was I often so tired during the lessons that I almost fell asleep. Here it´s totally different.
The difference can best be noticed when pupils move from classroom to another:
– The other classrooms feel so dark and depressive especially in the winter when it´s dark outside, says Elin Försborgen.

Arne Lowden. gets more and more inquiries from workplaces, especially those with rooms without windows.
– Our next project is Forsmark power plant with rooms without windows. The goal is to increase alertness in daytime
Even private persons are interested in lighting. Light therapy lamps for private use sell well, says Arne Lowden. who himself has one on his writing desk. There he sits in the morning and feels that bright light makes him more alert. He recommends light therapy lights especially for shift-workers. So far it is not sure if it helps against depression, established SBU, an institute that evaluates health care technologies in Sweden, last year. (AD-Lux: this is wrong information. There are lot of studies, which shows that light therapy helps against depression).

We need more research on this area. The indoor light is of more and more importance in our lives. In investigations we can see how sleeping difficulties and fatigue have become more common, and that is something we can fight with right kind of light, says Arne Lowden.

Related posts:

  1. Full-spectrum light in schools
  2. How important are light fixtures in schools
  3. Full-Spectrum Light (issue 11)
  4. Full-Spectrum Lighting (issue 10)
  5. Blue Light may Improve Alertness

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.