Elderly people should beware of sudden shifts in light and sleeping patterns, that's according to a new study from the University of Virginia.
Researchers studied older mice on different shift changes. Kind of like either working the early or late shift. When light shifted backward equivalent to a much earlier bedtime fewer of the mice died, but when the light shifted forward, so the mice stayed up much later, more than half of these older mice died.
"It alerts me to, for example, lighting within institutional settings in nursing homes and hospitals it may be very important to keep constant light schedules and sleep schedules in the aged," said Dr. David Block, of the University of Virginia.
The study is being published in tomorrow's issue of the journal "Current Biology."