You didn’t get much sleep last night and now you’re driving home from a meeting. You have another two hours to go, so you pull up to a nearby service station and head straight to one of the coffee machines to wake yourself up. Sound familiar?
According to the book, Counting Sheep by Paul Martin, sleep deprivation is the main cause of road accidents in the UK today. It’s not surprising – as a society, we have a tendency to sleep much less than we should. In some respects, the ‘work hard, lose out on sleep’ mentality is even applauded.
Coffee beans may help you to stay alert for short bursts when you’re driving long distances, but what if there was something else to help you on those long monotonous journeys?
Of course, regular sleep would be a good start, but in the meantime, there’s coffee and… blue lights attached to the inside of your car. It might sound peculiar or even off putting, but having a blue light in your car whilst you’re driving long distances could stop you from dozing off.
A group of French and Swedish scientists recently conducted a study to test the effects of blue lighting whilst driving. The 48 participants involved in the study were either exposed to a blue LED light, given caffeine, or a placebo.
The results show that drivers who were exposed to a blue light were as alert as the drivers who were given caffeine. Blue lighting works by triggering the brain into thinking that it’s daytime, stimulating the parts of the brain responsible for alertness. Blue light after all is the last colour to appear in the morning and the first to disappear at night.
Despite the positive results, some drivers were put off by the blue light; however, it could just be something to get used to. The findings clearly show that blue lighting is definitely worth further research and development.