Tuned lighting helps nursing home residents get better sleep, study finds

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Nursing home residents tend to fall asleep at all hours of the day, and during the night, their sleep may be interrupted by periods of wakefulness.

It’s a vicious cycle of fragmented sleep that can place residents at risk for poor health outcomes, including depression and increased frailty, said Rosa Baier, an associate professor of the practice in health services, policy and practice who directs the Center for Long-Term Care Quality & Innovation at the Brown University School of Public Health.

But Baier and a team of colleagues identified an innovative way to cut in half the number of sleep disturbances experienced by residents in one California nursing home — and it didn’t involve prescribing sleeping pills. Instead, the facility installed interior lighting fixtures that change color and intensity over the course of the day and night. READ MORE