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Changing light patterns in hospital rooms may ease patients' pain and fatigue

The Plain Dealer, October 31, 2013

Helping hospitalized patients get a better night's sleep and reducing the amount of pain they're in may be as simple as exposing them to more natural light, according to a study published online this week in the Journal of Advanced Nursing. A team of researchers led by Esther Bernhofer, a nursing education specialist at the Cleveland Clinic who specializes in pain management, sought to find out what role, if any, the hospital lighting environment played in a patients' mood, sleep, and pain while they were in the hospital. Between May 2011 and April 2012, they collected data from 23 women and 17 men admitted to a large academically affiliated U.S. hospital.