Dysregulated light/dark cycle impairs sleep and delays the recovery of patients in intensive care units: A call for action for COVID-19 treatment Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Exposure to an adequate light-dark cycle is important for the speedy recovery of hospitalized and institutionalized patients. Light exposure, including natural light, offers several health benefits to both patients and nursing staff. This includes physical (e.g., decreased confusion and disorientation) and mental health benefits (e.g., prevention of depression) and a reduction in the hospital stay. Improved alertness and performance can also be noted among hospital staff. In this commentary, we discuss disrupting factors that include light during the nighttime along with noise and physical procedures on the patient and others. We then address some of the important steps that can be undertaken to restore a more normal environment for patients in the intensive care unit, which can be particularly important for COVID-19 patients.


  • Golombek, Diego
  • Pandi-Perumal, Seithikurippu
  • Rosenstein, Ruth E
  • Lundmark, Per Olof
  • Spence, David Warren
  • Cardinali, Daniel P
  • Reiter, Russel J
  • Brown, Gregory Michael

publication date

  • July 3, 2022