2019 Volume 57 Issue 4 Pages 511-524
Disrupting sleepiness and fatigue during the post-lunch dip by environmental factors may result in a decrease in human errors and accidents, and enhance job performance. Recent studies have shown that both red white light as well as blue white light can have a positive effect on human alertness and mental functioning. In the present study, the light intervention was evaluated for its effectiveness on alleviating the post-lunch dip. Twenty healthy volunteers experienced 117 min of four light conditions preceded by a 13-min initial dim light while performing a continuous performance test (CPT) and undergoing recording of the electroencephalogram (EEG): blue-enriched white light (12,000 K, 500 lx, BWL), red saturated white light (2,700 K, 500 lx, RWL), normal white light (4,000 K, 500 lx, NWL), and dim light (<5 lx, DL) conditions. Other outcome measures were subjective sleepiness, mood, and performance tests (working memory, divided attention, and inhibitory capacity). We found that exposure to both BWL and RWL conditions decreased the lower alpha-band power compared to the NWL and DL conditions. No significant differences were observed in subjective sleepiness and mental performance during sustained attention, working memory, and inhibitory capacity tasks between NWL, RWL, and BWL conditions. The present findings suggest that both RWL and BWL, compared to NWL condition, can improve the physiological correlates of alertness in EEG measurements. However, these changes did not translate to improvements in task performance and subjective alertness.