Impact of an Individually Tailored Light Mask on Sleep Parameters in Older Adults With Advanced Phase Sleep Disorder

Mariana G. Figueiro, Philip D. Sloane, Kimberly Ward, David Reed, Sheryl Zimmerman, John S. Preisser, Seema Garg, Christopher J. Wretman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: This study investigated whether light delivered through the eyelids of sleeping persons might create phase delay in older adults who are adversely affected by advanced sleep phase disorder. Participants: Thirty-two cognitively intact, community-dwelling participants aged ≥ 50 years (20 females, 12 males) with Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores ≥ 5 (poor sleep) completed the study. Methods: This within-subjects, randomized, two-treatment crossover design study exposed participants to an active “blue” (λmax  =  480 nm) lighting intervention or a placebo “red” (λmax = 640 nm) control through closed eyelids during sleep for 8 weeks. Conditions were administered 1 hr after bedtime using custom-built light masks delivering a train of 2-s duration light pulses presented every 30 s for ≤ 2 hr (approximately 240 pulses/night). Dependent variables were subjective measures of sleep and depression (questionnaires) and objective measures of sleep (wrist actigraphy), analyzed using linear mixed models with treatment, period, and carryover as fixed effects. Results: The actigraphy analysis found no effect of the intervention or the control condition on sleep start time, total sleep time, number of sleep bouts, or sleep efficiency, either compared to baseline or to one another. Subjective responses of study participants, however, indicated statistically significant (p < 0.05) improvement in seven of eight reported measures of sleep quality with both the intervention and the control condition, but no difference between the two conditions. Conclusions: The participants reported improvement in sleep quality, but the intervention did not confer additional advantages after adjusting for period and carryover effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-240
Number of pages15
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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