Lighting as a Circadian Rhythm-Entraining and Alertness-Enhancing Stimulus in the Submarine Environment

Crepeau, L. J. and Bullough, J. D. and Figueiro, M. G. and Porter, S. and Rea, M. S. (2006) Lighting as a Circadian Rhythm-Entraining and Alertness-Enhancing Stimulus in the Submarine Environment. [Conference Paper] (Unpublished)

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The human brain can only accommodate a circadian rhythm that closely follows 24 hours. Thus, for a work schedule to meet the brain’s hard-wired requirement, it must employ a 24 hour-based program. However, the 6 hours on, 12 hours off (6/12) submarine watchstanding schedule creates an 18-hour “day” that Submariners must follow. Clearly, the 6/12 schedule categorically fails to meet the brain’s operational design, and no schedule other than one tuned to the brain’s 24 hour rhythm can optimize performance. Providing Submariners with a 24 hour-based watchstanding schedule—combined with effective circadian entrainment techniques using carefully-timed exposure to light—would allow crewmembers to work at the peak of their daily performance cycle and acquire more restorative sleep. In the submarine environment, where access to natural light is absent, electric lighting can play an important role in actively entraining—and closely maintaining—circadian regulation. Another area that is likely to have particular importance in the submarine environment is the potential effect of light to help restore or maintain alertness.

Item Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:circadian, alertness, melatonin, lighting, spectrum, intensity, psychophysics
Subjects:Neuroscience > Neuroendocrinology
Psychology > Physiological Psychology
Neuroscience > Behavioral Neuroscience
ID Code:6574
Deposited By:Bullough, Dr. John D.
Deposited On:02 Jul 2009 02:41
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57

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