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Lighting Research & Education
Short-Wavelength Light Can Help Teenagers
Sleep-starved teens may be able to rest easier, according to new research from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The LRC study indicates that exposure to short-wavelength blue light in the morning has the potential to help sleep-deprived adolescents prepare for the challenges of the day and deal with stress. Levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland, follow a daily 24-hour rhythm. Cortisol concentrations are low throughout the day, reaching a broad minimum in the evening before rising slowly again through the night. In addition to this gradual elevation of cortisol at night, cortisol levels rise sharply within the first 30 to 60 minutes after waking. This is called cortisol awakening response (CAR), and a high CAR has been associated with better preparedness.