School Construction News has published an article written by Energy Focus Chairman and CEO James Tu titled, “Human-Centric Lighting Brightens the Way to Success.”
Since average Americans spend close to 90% of their time indoors, constant exposure to artificial light is one of the key factors that affects sleep. Sleep is inextricably linked to cognitive development, so schools have a vested interest in promoting healthy sleep. Research published in Brain and Cognition has demonstrated that the frontal lobe, which enables rational thinking and critical decision making, takes deep sleep to accomplish the neural maturation required and studies have also shown that sleep sets in motion the process of memory consolidation. Students exposed to circadian lighting during learning times should be able to sleep better at night, according to research in Neuroendocrinology Letters, which can be a powerful tool for schools. In fact, studies have demonstrated significant improvements in learning efficiency and test scores under circadian lighting, including a study of elementary school students conducted by University of Mississippi showing a 33% increase in performance under circadian lighting compared with the control group.