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The Effect of Blue Light Therapy on Flight Crew-Members Behavioral Alertness

18 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2014  

Lori Brown

Western Michigan University, College of Aviation

A.M.C. Schoutens

Independent

Geoff Whitehurst

Western Michigan University, College of Aviation

Troy J. Booker

Western Michigan University

Travis Davis

Western Michigan University

Spencer Losinski

Western Michigan University

Ryan Diehl

Western Michigan University

Date Written: February 27, 2014

Abstract

The study aimed to investigate the efficacy of blue light therapy to improve behavioral alertness in flight crew-members. Western Michigan University, College of Aviation, Jeppesen (a Boeing Company), Nature Bright Company, Airline participants, and a leading sleep researcher Schoutens, A.M.C. of FluxPlus, BV, The Netherlands, collaborated to examine whether timed blue light could improve flight crewmember alertness. During the four week study, crewmembers wore actigraph bands to monitor sleep behaviors. Self-assessed levels of sleepiness were recorded using the Karlosinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS), and self-assessed fatigue was measured using the Samn-Perelli (SP) fatigue scale. Participants completed psychomotor vigilance tests (PVT) to measure behavioral alertness. On the third and fourth weeks of the study, participants were exposed to blue light with short wavelength (465nm blue) light therapy. The results show that there was a significant difference in alertness between pre-intervention and post-intervention for each crew member and that 39.1% of the variance is explained by time (pre/post intervention). There is also a significant difference in alertness between flight crew and cabin crew and 49.4% of the variance is explained by position (flight/cabin crew).

Keywords: light therapy, psychology, aviation psychology, health, alertness, sleep science, bright lights, fatigue, aviation, pilot, flight attendant, psychomotor vigilance tests, Karlosinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS), fatigue

Suggested Citation

Brown, Lori and Schoutens, A.M.C. and Whitehurst, Geoff and Booker, Troy J. and Davis, Travis and Losinski, Spencer and Diehl, Ryan, The Effect of Blue Light Therapy on Flight Crew-Members Behavioral Alertness (February 27, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2402409 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2402409

Lori Brown (Contact Author)

Western Michigan University, College of Aviation ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

A.M.C. Schoutens

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Geoff Whitehurst

Western Michigan University, College of Aviation

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

Troy Booker

Western Michigan University ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

Travis Davis

Western Michigan University ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

Spencer Losinski

Western Michigan University ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

Ryan Diehl

Western Michigan University ( email )

Kalamazoo, MI 49008
United States

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