Sleep Med Psychophysiol.  1999 Jun;6(1):68-75.

Changes in Sleep Patterns and Mood States of Shift Workers Following Nocturnal Light Exposure

  • 1Yong-in Mental Hospital, Yong-In, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, and Division of Sleep Studies and Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


We intended to observe changes in sleep patterns and mood states of night-shift workers following light exposure. We also estimated the degree of tolerance of light exposure. By studying these, we investigated the possibility of applying light therapy to night-shift workers for improving their adaptation.
Twelve night-shift nurses working at Yong-In Mental Hospital volunteered to participate in this study. The study consisted of 3 parts: 1) night-shift control study : 2) light exposure study : 3) day-shift control study. All the nurses accomplished 3 parts of the study, each of which continued for 3 days, except one nurse who did not participate in day-shift control study. During light exposure study, nurses were exposed to bright light for 4 hours from 1AM to 5AM. Sleep patterns were evaluated with wrist actigraphy and automatic sleep analysis program. Mood states and side effects of light exposure were assessed with self-report scales.
Sleep period time, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency were increased following light exposure compared with night-shift control study. Light exposure study showed no difference from day-shift control study in above-mentioned sleep parameters. Daily fluctuation of sleep efficiency was less prominent during light exposure study than during night-shift control study. During light exposure study, the subjects felt more elated and energetic in the evening after daytime sleep than during night-shift control study. None of the subjects complained of severe side effects related to light exposure on the third day of light exposure. Tolerance of side effects was noted to develop with the repetition of light exposure.
Light exposure improved the daytime sleep of night-shift workers to the level of normal nighttime sleep, making the subjects more elated and energetic. Side effects of light exposure were found to be tolerable. Light exposure seems to be safely applicable to night-shift workers for their adaptation.


Light exposure; Sleep patterns; Mood states; Light exposure side effects

MeSH Terms

Hospitals, Psychiatric
Weights and Measures
Full Text Links
  • SMP
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: