Wearing blue-blockers in the morning could improve sleep of workers on a permanent night schedule: a pilot study.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Chronobiol Int, Volume 26, Issue 5, p.913-25 (2009)


Adaptation, Physiological, Adult, Biological Clocks, Circadian Rhythm, Female, Humans, Light, Male, Middle Aged, Photoperiod, Pilot Projects, Seasons, Sleep, Wakefulness, Work Schedule Tolerance


<p>Night shiftworkers often complain of disturbed sleep during the day. This could be partly caused by morning sunlight exposure during the commute home, which tends to maintain the circadian clock on a daytime rhythm. The circadian clock is most sensitive to the blue portion of the visible spectrum, so our aim was to determine if blocking short wavelengths of light below 540 nm could improve daytime sleep quality and nighttime vigilance of night shiftworkers. Eight permanent night shiftworkers (32-56 yrs of age) of Quebec City's Canada Post distribution center were evaluated during summertime, and twenty others (24-55 yrs of age) during fall and winter. Timing, efficacy, and fragmentation of daytime sleep were analyzed over four weeks by a wrist activity monitor, and subjective vigilance was additionally assessed at the end of the night shift in the fall-winter group. The first two weeks served as baseline and the remaining two as experimental weeks when workers had to wear blue-blockers glasses, either just before leaving the workplace at the end of their shift (summer group) or 2 h before the end of the night shift (fall-winter group). They all had to wear the glasses when outside during the day until 16:00 h. When wearing the glasses, workers slept, on average +/-SD, 32+/-29 and 34+/-60 more min/day, increased their sleep efficacy by 1.95+/-2.17% and 4.56+/-6.1%, and lowered their sleep fragmentation by 1.74+/-1.36% and 4.22+/-9.16% in the summer and fall-winter group, respectively. Subjective vigilance also generally improved on Fridays in the fall-winter group. Blue-blockers seem to improve daytime sleep of permanent night-shift workers.</p>

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