Bright Morning Lighting Enhancing Parasympathetic Activity at Night: A Pilot Study on Elderly Female Patients with Dementia without a Pacemaker

Chuen Ru Liu, Terry B.J. Kuo, Jwo Huei Jou*, Chun Ting Lai Lai, Yu Kai Chang, Yiing Mei Liou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Exposure to bright morning light (BML) entrains the master circadian clock, modulates physiological circadian rhythms, and reduces sleep–wake disturbances. However, its impact on the autonomic nervous system at night remains unclear. Here, we investigated the effects of BML exposure on parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity at night in elderly women. This nonrandomized controlled pilot study included female participants aged ≥ 60 years who were diagnosed with a type of dementia or cognitive disorder, excluding individuals with pacemakers. The treatment group was exposed to 2500 lx of BML, whereas the control group was exposed to 200 lx of general lighting. We measured heart rate variability to quantify ANS activity. The treatment group displayed significant increases in high-frequency (HF) power (Roy’s largest root = 1.62; p < 0.001) and nonsignificant decreases in normalized low-frequency (LF%) power. The corresponding nonsignificant decreases in the low-frequency/high-frequency (LF/HF) ratio and cognitive function were correlated with PSNS activity (Roy’s largest root = 1.41; p < 0.001), which improved severe dementia. BML exposure reduced SNS activity and enhanced PSNS activity at night in female participants, which improved cognitive function. Thus, BML therapy may be a useful clinical tool for alleviating cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
Article number793
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar

Keywords

  • cognitive function
  • dementia
  • heart rate variability
  • light therapy
  • parasympathetic
  • sympathetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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