Airparks’ night workers trialling Lumie lights

Airparks’ night workers are benefiting from Lumie light therapy as part of its new wellbeing initiative running in January. Cambridge-based light therapy specialists Lumie have loaned their most powerful lightbox Lumie Brazil for use in the company’s break rooms at Airparks’ car park sites at Luton and Birmingham Airports.

The focus of the wellbeing programme is on sleep, with advice being given on optimal diet and environment to help the night shift team members, including bus drivers, car movers and receptionists, to sleep better. Shift work is known to affect sleep patterns and disrupt circadian rhythms resulting in 'social jetlag'. Light therapy can moderate these adverse effects and help to keep the body clock aligned with day and night.

Night workers at Airparks get some light therapy

Airparks workers at Birmingham Airport take a break on their night shift
and catch some rays with Lumie Brazil.

A burst of bright light during the wake cycle - whether that happens to be the middle of a night shift or during the day at home - can also boost alertness, combat tiredness and reduce the time it takes to adjust to shifts. It is best to use the light therapy in the first half of a night shift to help maintain alertness and performance throughout the work period; it is so alerting that if it is used too close to the end of the shift then it can affect the worker’s ability to then go home and sleep.

Lumie Brazil is the largest light box in the Lumie range delivering 10,000 lux output at 35cm. This is the gold standard for effective treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) although it’s also very helpful for anyone needing a boost in their mood and energy. Just 30 minutes is usually enough for the benefits to be felt and, as the light therapy is cumulative, it doesn’t have to be taken in one sitting. Lumie Brazil is also a Class IIa Medical Device which means it is rigorously tested to European health and safety standards.

The team participating in the trial is completing ‘before’ and ‘after’ surveys to help Airparks and Lumie quantify the benefits of the light therapy.

“The well being of our team at Airparks is very important to us as well being vital to ensure the smooth running of our business. We’re delighted to be able to offer the benefits of Lumie light therapy to our night shift people and hope it enhances their work experience.” Oliver Ashford, Airparks CEO

“It’s been well documented1 that night shift workers suffer from a disrupted sleep/wake cycle which in turn can impact on their overall well-being. Using light therapy at night has been proven to increase alertness, and is beneficial in helping align shift workers circadian rhythms, so the Airparks staff involved in this trial should notice a discernable improvement in their mood, energy and productivity as a result of using Lumie Brazil.” Jonathan Cridland, CEO, Lumie

1. Some relevant research references:

Circadian adaptation to night shift work influences sleep, performance, mood and the autonomic modulation of the heart. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 26;8(7):e70813. 

Suppression of sleepiness and melatonin by bright light exposure during breaks in night work. J Sleep Res. 2004 Mar;13(1):37-43.

Circadian rhythm adaptation to simulated night shift work: effect of nocturnal bright-light duration. Sleep. 1995 Jul;18 (6):399-407.

The Impact of Sleep Timing and Bright Light Exposure on Attentional Impairment during Night Work. J Biol Rhythms. 2008 Aug;23(4):341-52.

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