Photo Credit: KERRYWHO/flickr open/getty images
If you’re one of the millions of people who feel tired and sluggish at some point during the day, researchers have discovered the natural pick-me-up that will suddenly make you — and your world — seem brighter.
Medical experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have concluded that exposure to the short wavelength known as blue light, during daylight hours, can boost alertness and performance “directly and immediately.”
Since their goal was to test which wavelengths of light had the most impact on combating fatigue, scientists divided study volunteers into two groups. With one group exposed to blue light and the other group exposed to green light (by means of specialized light equipment) for a total of 6.5 hours, all of the participants wore electrodes in order for the experts to monitor the activity in their brains. When their light time came to an end, the volunteers were then asked to rate their sleepiness.
The results: The blue light group not only reported feeling less sleepy than the green group, but there were changes in their brain patterns that indicated a more alert state.
"These results contribute to our understanding of how light impacts the brain and open up a new range of possibilities for using light to improve human alertness, productivity and safety," explained Steven Lockley, PhD, neuroscientist at BWH and senior investigator of the study, as reported by ScienceDaily.
Researchers are now trying to develop smart lighting systems, but until that day arrives, exposure to natural sunlight is the only way to turn on your body’s wake-up switch.
I’m certainly not a scientist, but something tells me the brain activity will really skyrocket if we’re exposed to natural sunlight on a warm beach in the Caribbean.