Study objectives: A new type of lighting using violet-excitation light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with an action spectrum centered at approximately 405 nm was developed. Although violet-excitation LEDs can reduce melatonin suppression compared with blue-excitation LEDs, no studies have compared the effects of violet-excitation LEDs with those of blue-excitation LEDs on melatonin suppression. This study was designed to compare the effects of violet-excitation LEDs with those of blue-excitation LEDs on melatonin suppression, psychomotor vigilance, and sleepiness.
Methods: Sixteen healthy Japanese males aged 20-39 years were exposed to violet- and blue-excitation LEDs for 3 hours in a crossover randomized manner. The primary outcome was changes in salivary melatonin levels compared with the baseline levels. The secondary outcomes were changes in psychomotor vigilance and the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale. Melatonin suppression was calculated from the difference in the area under the curves between the baseline and intervention.
Results: Of the 16 participants, 15 completed the measurements. The baseline characteristics did not differ significantly between the 2 groups. After adjusting for age, a difference of 16.28 pg/mL in mean melatonin suppression was observed between the violet- and blue-excitation LED groups (-2.15 pg/mL vs -18.43 pg/mL; P = .006). The overall melatonin suppression by violet-excitation LEDs was 48.6% smaller than that by blue-excitation LEDs. No significant differences in psychomotor vigilance and sleepiness were observed between the 2 groups.
Conclusions: Melatonin suppression in healthy Japanese males exposed to violet-excitation LEDs was significantly smaller than that in those exposed to blue-excitation LEDs. Our preliminary findings indicate that violet-excitation LEDs may have the potential to reduce the magnitude of blue-excitation LED-induced melatonin suppression.
Citation: Mitsui K, Saeki K, Sun M, Yamagami Y, Tai Y, Obayashi K. Effects of a violet-excitation light-emitting diode on melatonin secretion and sleepiness: preliminary findings from a randomized controlled trial. J Clin Sleep Med. 2024;20(1):101-109.
Keywords: RCT; circadian rhythms; light-emitting diode; melatonin; violet excitation.
© 2024 American Academy of Sleep Medicine.