At the LEDs Magazine Lighting for Health and Wellbeing Conference, speakers covered topics ranging from the perils of shift work and nighttime lighting to the up and down sides of blue spectral energy, as well as the need for better lighting in healthcare facilities, reports MAURY WRIGHT.
This past summer, we held our first one-day immersive Lighting for Health and Wellbeing Conference. The program was exciting, the speakers were passionate, and the field is burgeoning with opportunity. But if there was one phrase uttered more than any other on July 27, it was "It's complicated." Read on for a synopsis of the program and plan to join us at our next event.
The conference started with a keynote presentation by Shadab Rahman, PhD, who is an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School's Division of Sleep Medicine, and an associate neuroscientist at Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders (Fig. 1). Rahman's presentation focused on circadian issues with shift workers and the potential of circadian adaptation techniques to improve sleep patterns and boost alertness among shift workers.
Shift work is, of course, unavoidable in our society today. Indeed, Rahman pointed out that many first responders — for instance, from fire and police departments — and healthcare workers invariably work on shifts and often face the challenges of working at night and sleeping during the day during a series of workdays, and then transitioning to a normal day/night cycle during a series of off days. Proper rest is a concern for all shift workers, but the examples noted are certainly occupations where alertness is critical.