Effect of home-based light treatment on persons with dementia and their caregivers

P. D. Sloane, M. Figueiro, S. Garg, L. W. Cohen, D. Reed, C. S. Williams, J. Preisser, S. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Sleep disorders are problematic for persons with dementia and their family caregivers. This randomized controlled trial with crossover evaluated the effects of an innovative blue-white light therapy on 17 pairs of home-dwelling persons with dementia and their caregivers. Subjects with dementia received blue-white light and control ('red-yellow' light) for six weeks separated by a four-week washout. Neither actigraphic nor most self-reported sleep measures significantly differed for subjects with dementia. For caregivers, both sleep and role strain improved. No evidence of retinal light toxicity was observed. Six weeks of modest doses of blue-white light appear to improve sleep in caregivers but not in persons with dementia. Greater or prolonged circadian stimulation may be needed to determine if light is an effective treatment for persons with dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-176
Number of pages16
JournalLighting Research and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 25 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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