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Hospital room lighting may worsen patients' mood, pain

Reuters, November 8, 2013

Patients in an average hospital room are exposed to so little light during the day that their bodies cannot adopt a normal sleep-wake cycle, a small study suggests. Researchers found the lowest levels of daytime light exposure were tied to worse mood and more fatigue and pain among patients, compared to those whose rooms were better-lit during the day. "Until now, no one has looked at the associations among light and outcomes such as sleep, mood and pain experienced in the hospital," said Esther Bernhofer, lead author of the study and a nurse researcher at the Cleveland Clinic's Nursing Institute.