Menu

 

Task Book: Biological & Physical Sciences Division and Human Research Program
Advanced Search     

Project Title:  Operational Evaluation of a Photic Countermeasure to Improve Alertness, Performance, and Mood During Night-Shift Work on the 105-Day Study (105-Day Russian Chamber Study) Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2010 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 02/01/2009  
End Date: 08/31/2010  
Task Last Updated: 05/11/2011 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Czeisler, Charles A. M.D., Ph.D. / Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical Center 
Address:  Division of Sleep Medicine 
221 Longwood Ave., Ste. 438 
Boston , MA 02115-5804 
Email: caczeisler@rics.bwh.harvard.edu 
Phone: 617-732-4013  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Wright, Kenneth  University of Colorado at Boulder 
Barger, Laura  Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-HFP00002 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-HFP00002 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Sleep Gap 05:We need to identify environmental specifications and operational regimens for using light to prevent and mitigate health and performance decrements due to sleep, circadian, and neurobehavioral disruption, for flight, surface and ground crews, during all phases of spaceflight operations (IRP Rev E)
Task Description: The success of long-duration missions depends on the ability of crewmembers and mission support specialists to be alert and maintain high levels of cognitive function while operating complex, technical equipment. Optimal human health, performance and safety during spaceflight requires sufficient sleep and synchrony between the circadian pacemaker - which regulates the timing of sleep, endocrine function, alertness, and performance - and the timing of the imposed sleep-wake schedule.

Crewmembers of the 105-day experiment were required to work one night shift every sixth night. We hypothesized that this schedule would likely result in sleep loss and circadian misalignment, especially when lighting conditions are similar to those experienced during spaceflight. Mission controllers supporting the 105-day study were required to work 24-hour shifts. We hypothesized that this schedule, too, would result in both sleep loss and circadian misalignment. It has been well documented in laboratory and field studies that both working the night shift and working extended-duration shifts result in negative effects on alertness, performance, and mood.

Light has been successfully used as a countermeasure for circadian misalignment and to acutely increase alertness. Recently, shorter wavelength light (480-500 nm) has been reported to be more effective for these purposes than longer wavelength light. The goals of the study were to test the operational feasibility of sleep and circadian assessments and test a lighting countermeasure to improve alertness and performance during night-shift work occurring during a long-duration analog space mission.

Specific Aims

1) Evaluate the feasibility of monitoring sleep and circadian neuroendocrine rhythms in a high fidelity operational simulation

2) Test the hypothesis that sleep, alertness, performance, and mood will be impaired during night shift work operations, in both crewmembers and external mission controllers

3) Test the hypothesis that alertness, performance, and mood of crewmembers and external mission controllers exposed to shorter wavelength light (with a peak wavelength between 485 to 525 nm) during the night shift will be significantly better than the alertness, performance, and mood of those same crewmembers when they are exposed to intermediate wavelength light (with a peak wavelength of either 545 nm to 555 nm) or longer wavelength light (620 nm to 690 nm) during the night shift

Throughout the 105-day experiment, measurements were obtained to assess sleep, performance, alignment of the circadian system, and nighttime melatonin levels. We collected 349 days of actigraphy from 6 crewmembers. Crewmembers slept significantly less during the 24 hour day that included a night shift and significantly more in the 24 hours following the night shift. Crewmembers reported using caffeine and naps to counter fatigue.

Inspection of the night shift room after the completion of the mission revealed supplemental polychromatic lighting had been added to the room during the mission that further increased the intensity of light exposure on the night shift. Consequently, there was no difference in light intensity, as measured by wrist-worn actigraphy, or in melatonin suppression between the three lighting conditions.

Crewmembers completed 48-hour urine collections approximately every two weeks for analysis of 6-sulphaxtoxymelatonin and free cortisol rhythms to estimate the phase of the circadian pacemaker. Some crewmembers maintained stable circadian phase and other had considerable phase misalignment.

Eighteen mission controllers reported working 358 24-hour shifts. Mission controllers slept <4 hours on their 24-hour extended duration work shifts.

As expected, learning was observed across the study. Nonetheless, performance, alertness, sleepiness, and mood of crewmembers and mission controllers deteriorated during night work across the study, indicating little adaptation to 24h work operations. No significant differences in performance were seen between light conditions.

These data demonstrate that it is feasible to monitor sleep, circadian rhythms, and performance in an analog spaceflight environment. Cognitive learning across the 105-day mission in both crewmembers and mission controllers was consistent with subjects in ground based studies who have appropriate circadian alignment. Deterioration of performance, alertness, and mood were evident during 24-hour extended duration overnight work shifts despite countermeasure use. Some crewmembers had considerable circadian phase misalignment. Whether this misalignment was due to failure to entrain or a consequence of the recurrent night shifts is a subject for future research.

There were no significant differences in alertness or performance across lighting conditions. Factors in the protocol over which the experimenter had no control (e.g., additional lighting used in the night shift room beyond that currently possible during spaceflight) may account for this latter finding and necessitate further exploration of this aspect of the study.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Extended duration work schedules and nighttime operations are associated with impaired performance, reduced alertness and mood, and increased sleepiness and risk of accidents. Appropriately scheduled light/dark exposure is a powerful means of resetting the human circadian pacemaker. Bright light has been used in various clinical settings to induce physiologic adaptation in individuals suffering from circadian rhythm disorders (e.g., night shift workers, people with Advanced and Delayed Sleep Phase Syndromes). Properly timed exposure to bright light can produce rapid physiologic adaptation of the circadian pacemaker to a single week of night work and facilitate rapid entrainment to a rotating work schedule, as well as enhance the alertness of night workers during their work shifts. Advanced and Delayed Sleep Phase Syndromes (ASPS and DSPS, respectively) are characterized by a marked difficulty in maintaining appropriate timing of sleep during the desired hours, and there is evidence suggesting that circadian misalignment may underlie the pathophysiology of this condition. We and others have reported data from clinical studies that suggest evening exposure to bright light or early morning exposure to bright light are successful in the treatment of ASPS or DSPS, respectively.

The current study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of shorter wavelength light exposure over intermediate and longer wavelength light as a countermeasure for circadian misalignment. The findings highlight the need for further development of effective and energy-efficient methods for treatment of circadian rhythm disorders. Optimizing the wavelength of light holds the potential for producing shorter, more efficient light treatment regimens. Shorter treatment regimens would not only increase compliance in clinical populations, but would make light treatment more practical in industrial/work settings. This lighting countermeasure could be beneficial for those on Earth who work extended duration overnight shifts or other unusual schedules and may negate the effects of fatigue on work performance.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2010 
Task Progress: The 105-day isolation study was conducted at the Institute for Biomedical Problems (IBMP) from 31 Mar 09 to 14 Jul 09. Six crewmembers lived and worked in an isolation facility and participated in our study validating the efficacy and operational feasibility of a photic countermeasure to improve alertness and performance during night shift work occurring during a simulated expedition mission. Eighteen mission controllers who worked 24-hour extended duration shifts also participated in the study. Throughout the 105-day experiment, a variety of measurements were obtained to assess sleep, performance, alignment of the circadian system, and melatonin levels. All data were collected and analyzed and a manuscript is in preparation.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 02/11/2021)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Akerstedt T, Wright KP Jr. "Sleep loss and fatigue in shift work and shift work disorder." Sleep Med Clin. 2009 Jun 1;4(2):257-71. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsmc.2009.03.001 , Jun-2009
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Nguyen J, Wright KP Jr. "Influence of weeks of circadian misalignment on leptin levels." Nature and Science of Sleep. 2009 Dec;2010(2):9-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S7624 , Dec-2009
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Gooley JJ, Rajaratnam SM, Brainard GC, Kronauer RE, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. "Spectral responses of the human circadian system depend on the irradiance and duration of exposure to light." Sci Transl Med. 2010 May 12;2(31):31ra33. http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.3000741 ; PubMed PMID: 20463367 , May-2010
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Gordon JA, Alexander EK, Lockley SW, Flynn-Evans E, Venkatan SK, Landrigan CP, Czeisler CA; Harvard Work Hours, Health, and Safety Group (Boston, Massachusetts). "Does simulator-based clinical performance correlate with actual hospital behavior? The effect of extended work hours on patient care provided by medical interns." Acad Med. 2010 Oct;85(10):1583-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181f073f0 ; PubMed PMID: 20881679 , Oct-2010
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Jung CM, Ronda JM, Czeisler CA, Wright KP Jr. "Comparison of sustained attention assessed by auditory and visual psychomotor vigilance tasks prior to and during sleep deprivation." J Sleep Res. 2011 Jun;20(2):348-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2869.2010.00877.x ; PMID: 20819145 , Jun-2011
Awards Czeisler CA. "Charles A. Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D.: Election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, October 2010." Oct-2010
Awards Czeisler CA. "Charles A. Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D.: Harriet Hardy Award New England College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (NECOEM), March 2010." Mar-2010
Awards Czeisler CA. "Charles A. Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D: Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy Award, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, June 2010." Jun-2010
Awards Burke TM. "Tina M. Burke: American Academy of Sleep Medicine 2010 Circadian Rhythms Section, January 2010." Jan-2010
Awards Burke TM. "Tina M. Burke: Selected Presentation, Trainee Symposium Series during Trainee Day SLEEP 2009, January 2009." Jan-2009
Awards Burke TM. "Tina M. Burke: Sleep Research Society 2009 Abstract Excellence Award, January 2010." Jan-2010
Awards Burke TM. "Tina M. Burke: University of Colorado 2009 Travel Award, January 2009." Jan-2009
Awards Burke TM. "Tina M. Burke: University of Colorado 2010 Travel Award, January 2010." Jan-2010
Books/Book Chapters Drake CL, Wright KP Jr. "Shift work, shift work disorder, and jet lag." in "Principles and practice of sleep medicine, 5th edition." Ed. M.H. Kryger, T. Roth, W.C. Dement. Philadelphia, PA : Saunders/Elsevier, c2011. p. 784-798., Jan-2011
Books/Book Chapters Wright KP Jr, Burke TM, Smith MR. "Light exposure for improving cognition during sleep loss and circadian misalignment." in "Sleep Deprivation, Stimulant Medications, and Cognition" Ed. N.J. Wesensten. New York : Cambridge University Press, 2012. p. 184-198. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511783005.015 (originally reported as in press, as of September 2010.), Sep-2012
Books/Book Chapters Wright KP Jr, Gooley JJ. "Chronobiology mechanisms and circadian sleep disorders." in "Basics of sleep guide, 2nd edition." Ed. C.J. Amlaner, P.M. Fuller. Westchester, IL : Sleep Research Society, 2009. p. 223-234., Oct-2009
Journal/Magazine covers Gooley JJ, Rajaratnam SM, Brainard GC, Kronauer RE, Czeisler CA, Lockley SW. "Cover in journal Science Translational Medicine for article, 'Spectral responses of the human circadian system depend on the irradiance and duration of exposure to light.'" Sci Transl Med. 2010 May 12;2(31):31ra33. PMID: 20463367 ; http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/2/31.cover-expansion , May-2010
Project Title:  Operational Evaluation of a Photic Countermeasure to Improve Alertness, Performance, and Mood During Night-Shift Work on the 105-Day Study (105-Day Russian Chamber Study) Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2009 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Start Date: 02/01/2009  
End Date: 01/31/2010  
Task Last Updated: 08/18/2009 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Czeisler, Charles A. M.D., Ph.D. / Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical Center 
Address:  Division of Sleep Medicine 
221 Longwood Ave., Ste. 438 
Boston , MA 02115-5804 
Email: caczeisler@rics.bwh.harvard.edu 
Phone: 617-732-4013  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Barger, Laura  Harvard--Brigham and Women's Hospital 
Wright, Kenneth  University of Colorado 
Lockley, Steven  Harvard--Brigham and Women's Hospital 
Ronda, Joseph  Harvard--Brigham and Women's Hospital 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NCC 9-58-HFP00002 
Responsible Center: NSBRI 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-HFP00002 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: Yes 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance (archival in 2017)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Sleep:Risk of Performance Decrements and Adverse Health Outcomes Resulting from Sleep Loss, Circadian Desynchronization, and Work Overload (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) Sleep Gap 05:We need to identify environmental specifications and operational regimens for using light to prevent and mitigate health and performance decrements due to sleep, circadian, and neurobehavioral disruption, for flight, surface and ground crews, during all phases of spaceflight operations (IRP Rev E)
Task Description: The success of long-duration missions depends on the ability of the crew to be alert and maintain high levels of cognitive function while operating complex, technical equipment. Optimal human health, performance and safety during spaceflight requires sufficient sleep and synchrony between the circadian pacemaker which regulates the timing of sleep, endocrine function, alertness and performance and the timing of the imposed sleep-wake schedule.

Crew members of the 105-day experiment will be required to work one night shift every fifth night. This schedule will likely result in sleep loss and circadian misalignment, especially when lighting conditions are similar to those experienced during spaceflight. Mission controllers will work 24-hour shifts, also resulting in both sleep loss and circadian misalignment. It has been well documented in laboratory and field studies that both working the night shift and working extended-duration shifts result in negative effects on alertness, performance and mood.

This study will validate the efficacy and operational feasibility of a lighting countermeasure to improve alertness and performance during night-shift work occurring during long-duration space missions.

Specific Aims

1. Evaluate the feasibility of monitoring sleep and circadian neuroendocrine rhythms during the 105-day experiment.

2. Test the hypothesis that sleep, alertness, performance and mood will be impaired during acute circadian misalignment associated with night-shift work operations.

3. Test the hypothesis that alertness, performance and mood of crew members exposed to shorter wavelength light (between 485 to 525 nm) during the night shift in the console monitoring room will be significantly better than when those same crew members are exposed to intermediate (545 to 555 nm) or longer (620 to 690 nm) wavelength light during the night shift.

4. Test the hypothesis that the alertness, performance and mood of the external mission controllers will be impaired during the final third of their extended-duration, 24-hour work shift as compared with the first third of that same work shift.

5. Test the hypothesis that the alertness, performance and mood of external missions controllers exposed to shorter wavelength light during the final third of their extended-duration work shift will be significantly better than when those same crew members are exposed to intermediate or longer wavelength light during the night shift.

Throughout the 105-day experiment, a variety of measurements will be obtained to assess sleep, performance, alignment of the circadian system, and melatonin levels. If a lighting countermeasure proves effective, it could negate or reduce the need for pharmaceutical interventions, with potentially lingering side effects, during long missions. A lighting countermeasure could also be beneficial in other unusual non-24 hour lighting cycles and may negate the effects of fatigue on work performance.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: 0

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2009 
Task Progress: New project for FY2009.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 02/11/2021)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2009