Study objectives: This study evaluates the effects of bright light therapy among demented nursing home patients with sleep disturbances.
Design and setting: 11 nursing home patients with actigraphically measured sleep efficiency below 85% took part in an open, non-randomised study where the subjects served as their own control.
Intervention: After two weeks of baseline measurements and two weeks of pretreatment measurements, patients received bright light exposure 2 h/day within the period 08:00-11:00 for two weeks.
Measurements and results: Sleep-wake patterns during the 24-h day were evaluated by nursing staff ratings and wrist-worn motor activity devices (actigraphs). Sleep improved substantially with bright light exposure. Waking time within nocturnal sleep was reduced by nearly two h, and sleep efficiency improved from 73% to 86%. Corresponding improvements were found in nursing staff ratings. Effects were consistent across subjects.
Conclusions: The findings add further evidence of the effectiveness of morning bright light exposure in the treatment of disturbed sleep among demented nursing home patients.
Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.