Did you know that lighting can severely impact a person with Alzheimer’s mood and sleep? Alzheimer’s disease is known to cause sleep issues and can lead to patient’s wondering around the dark. The disease can also cause agitation and anxiety. It is important to use the correct lighting in living areas and areas that the Alzheimer’s patient frequents. Poor lighting can increase anxiety and give a sense of insecurity. Light doses should be carefully measured as well as even and consistent.
During the Day
Dark areas can cause distress, so try to avoid having any dark spots in rooms. Natural light is always good to use throughout the day and the right amount will give the Alzheimer’s patient a calming feel and sense of security. When using light bulbs, the higher the watt, the better. Since glare can cause disorientation, try to avoid any glares on frames or mirrors. Also, keep in mind the right amount of light when patients are doing tasks such as sewing and playing games to reduce any anxiety or agitation.
During the night, you also need to make sure you are using the right lighting. Most rooms where the Alzheimer’s patient sleeps should have some sort of light for safety measures, so that they can see if they have to get up and use the restroom. Try to stick to warm lights like yellows and reds. Also, avoid placing bright lights outside near windows that could disrupt the patient’s sleep.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently conducted a study that found that lighting does impact a person with Alzheimer’s sleep and mood.
Especially at night, the study found that the right lighting will decrease depression, sleep disturbances and agitation in those with Alzheimer’s.
“Here we show that if the stimulus (light dose) is carefully delivered and measured, it can have a strong impact on sleep, depression and agitation,” Dr. Mariana Figueiro, principal investigator and lead author, explained about the study.
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