Light governs the development of many forms of life and is necessary for human physical and mental health. Its role is particularly important in the synchronization of biological processes to allow the body to withstand the variations in the daily cycle of activities and rest periods.
The Body of Scientific Knowledge teaches us that the biological clock naturally synchronizes with specific light wavelengths throughout the day. We are also told that our biological clock is most sensitive to certain wavelengths of light commonly referred to as blue light (wavelengths between 435 and 540 nanometers), predominant in early part of the day and when exposed to this natural blue light, the brain triggers the daytime metabolic engine, generating active responses to over 150 processes in the human body, characterized by an overall increase in metabolic activity, including an increase in body temperature, and blood pressure, increased heart rate and the secretion of cortisol (one of the important stress hormones produced upon awakening), and decreased production of melatonin (the sleeping hormone). In various research works, the suppression of melatonin is used as a proxy to the response of the biological clock. General knowledge in biology teaches us that melatonin is produced in high concentration in the evening and in low concentration during the day while in presence of blue light; melatonin helps maintain the sleep-wake rhythm, known as the circadian cycle. General knowledge in biology also reveals that, in the morning, the increase of the heart rate, the increased in body temperature and the suppression of melatonin are known to cause the body to wake up and improve alertness.
In addition, numerous articles and papers strongly suggest that artificial blue light emanating from electronic devices could have effect on alertness, similar to what we naturally experience in the morning.
At Bluewake Technologies we considered the possibility that artificially modulated blue light could stimulate alertness and wellness for night workers. As reduced alertness is known to be a primary source of work and road accident, we considered the possibility that alertness stimulation from artificial blue light could contribute to reducing the risk of work and road accidents.
Several truck drivers confirm that the use of the bluewake, by favoring higher level of energy at night, also promotes a better rest during the day.
The impact on wellness
The scientific literature suggests that night work causes important health concerns. Compared to day workers, various research reveals that among night worker are found 2 times more cases of obesity, 3 times more cases of diabetes, a slightly higher level of depression an important proportion of sleep apnea (a condition strongly correlated with overweight and diabetes).
Various papers also suggest that the night worker finds it very difficult to sleep well during the day, with a strong proportion sleeping only between 4 and 6 hours a day. It also reveals that the drowsiness at night caused by natural circadian cycle and the mental fatigue associated by work in low alertness condition at night are both causes of undue stress on night workers. Poor diet, often found in the night worker, and the use of energy drink while the digestion is at rest, causing intestinal problems and affecting sleep during day, are also negative consequences of night work on the worker’s well being reported in various papers and studies. The use of energy drinks (high in caffeine) is a plague among night workers because it affects not only the ability to sleep during the day, but wellness in general.
The findings drawn up to date from many users suggest that our solutions, in addition to helping with higher alertness and possibly contributing to lower risk of injury at work may provide a better quality of sleep. All these factors should benefit the general wellness of users of our solutions.
PROMOTING OF BETTER HEATING HABITS
Accumulated fatigue and stress are factors that will eventually affect an individual’s well-being and general enthusiasm. The night shift worker often lacks the motivation and interest to make time for good meals preparation and when on the road, often resort to fast food areas. Scientific literature teaches us that, eating at night is often a concern as the digestive system slows down at night when the biological clock switches to night mode. The use of Bluewake, by its possible contribution to reducing stress at work and on the quality of rest during day, promotes a better state of mind likely to promote the adoption of better eating practices. The Bluewake will help to better synchronize alertness and to improve overall well-being of the user.
STRESS AND WELLNESS
Scientific literature highlights the impact of negative stress on wellness as such tension tends to affect both the physical and the mental processes. By promoting better rest in daytime and higher level of alertness at night, the Bluewake could contribute to reducing stress for night workers. In addition, scientific studies tells us that a balanced exposure to blue light, for which the night worker shows a chronic deficiency (as the night workers typically sleep during the presence of natural blue light), could possibly improve overall wellness of night workers.
The impact of light on energy level is publicly well documented. It is important to note that the night worker shows a strong lack of exposure to light and virtually no exposure to blue light. Several users mention that the exposure to blue light provided by the Bluewake acts as a “boost” on the energy level which, combined with the possible reduction of stress, could help creating an overall state of well-being by rebalancing exposure to blue light.
These are often used to compensate for poor level of energy and stress. Although the impact is indirect, we believe that our solutions, by improving energy level, mood and general well-being of the night worker, could also have an impact on reducing the need to consume certain toxic substances. Several users confirms a reduction of the need to consume energy drinks and other rich-in-caffeine solutions while using the bluewake, thus possibly improving overall well-being of the night worker.
WE BELIEVE THAT WE WILL BE ABLE TO DEMONSTRATE IN THE MEDIUM TERM, IN ADDITION TO AN OBVIOUS REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER OF ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY DRIVING WITH REDUCED ALERTNESS CONDITION, A SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT IN THE WELL-BEING OF NIGHT WORKERS, THROUGH THE IMPACT OF OUR SOLUTIONS ON THE MULTIPLE FACETS AFFECTING INDIVIDUAL WELL-BEING.
Other comments and
We believe that the adoption of sound fatigue management practices aimed at the well-being and safety of the night worker is the foundation of strong productivity. Consequently, we encourage employers to consider adopting the following practices:
- The company could offer a partially sponsored catering service to these night workers. They could select their meals from a selection of prepared meals. A financial advantage for the worker would facilitate adherence to a practice that would have a positive impact on the health of the individual.
- The worker should receive training on the benefits of healthy eating, especially for road workers.
- Sleep apnea should be assessed and treated (need to sleep with a CPAP).
- Provide your night workers with a Bluewake as it helps increasing alertness, which is an important factor to work accident prevention. Training would be beneficial to better explain the impact of the natural sleep cycle on night work level of alertness. The Bluewake could also facilitate sleep during daytime, which in turn could help to improve further alertness at night.