[Positive effect of bright light therapy on mood and sleep quality in institutionalized older people]

Rev Esp Geriatr Gerontol. 2021 Nov-Dec;56(6):354-360. doi: 10.1016/j.regg.2021.05.010. Epub 2021 Jul 27.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Bright light exposure during the day has a positive effect on health and its deficit can cause multiple physiological and cognitive disorders, including depression. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of bright light therapy (BLT) on the quality of sleep and mood emotional state; cognitive status, global deterioration and quality of life in institutionalized elderly.

Material and methods: This is a study with repeated measures design. Thirty-seven older people admitted to a nursing home. The study lasted 3 weeks. The first week, the reference values were established with the Oviedo Sleep Questionnaire, Yesavage Depression Scale, Mini-Mental, Global Scale of Impairment and European Quality of Life Questionnaire. During the second week, they were exposed to BLT (7,000-10,000lx at eye level) between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. During the third week, all the data were re-evaluated.

Results: All variables improved significantly after the application of light therapy. Sleep (COS) pre-test 4.1±1.49, post-test 4.9±1.46, p: 0.01), mood (pre-test 3.65±2.78, post-test 2.65±2.9, p: 0.01), cognitive state (pre-test 22.72±6.53, post-test 24±5.92, p: 0.001), state of global deterioration (pre-test 3.10±1.26, post-test 2.72±5.92, p: 0.001) and health-related quality of life (pre-test 6.93±1.86, post-test 7.82±1.62, p: 0.001).

Conclusions: Sleep quality, mood, cognitive status, global deterioration status and quality of life significantly improved after the application of light bright therapy.

Keywords: Aging; Bright light therapy; Calidad del sueño; Circadian rhythms; Envejecimiento; Estado de ánimo; Mood; Ritmos circadianos; Sleep quality; Terapia de luz brillante.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes
  • Phototherapy*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sleep