MAJOR hospital has installed so-called circadian lighting to set the sleep-wake cycles of patients.
The lighting at the Medical Behavioural Unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia changes colour and intensity throughout the day in a bid to reset the circadian rhythms of patients, which often gets disrupted in healthcare environments.
The lights are a low-intensity warm colour temperature in the early morning, cool colour temperature in mid-morning and high-intensity in the afternoon, falling back to low-intensity warm colour temperature in the evenings.
It is designed specifically to counter the disruption to normal sleep-wake cycles experienced in hospitals which are typically not bright enough during the day or dark enough during the night to entrain the body’s natural pattern.
Maintaining regular sleep-wake cycles is seen as an important clinical tool at the specialist Medical Behavioural Unit, which treats kids with medical problems who also have underlying behavioural conditions such as depression, anxiety, and autism.
The children also can tune a colour-changing LED fitting over their beds as a ‘positive distraction’, senior project manager Mary Alcaraz told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
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