Blue light aids in coping with the post-lunch dip: an EEG study

Hongchae Baek, Byoung-Kyong Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The ‘post-lunch dip’ is a commonly experienced period of drowsiness in the afternoon hours. If this inevitable period can be disrupted by an environmental cue, the result will be enhanced workplace performance. Because blue light is known to be a critical cue for entraining biological rhythms, we investigated whether blue light illumination can be a practical strategy for coping with the post-lunch dip. Twenty healthy participants underwent a continuous performance test, during which the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded under four different illumination conditions: dark ( < 0.3 lx), 33% blue-enriched light, 66% blue-enriched light and white polychromatic light. As a result, exposure to blue-enriched light during the post-lunch dip period significantly reduced the EEG alpha activity, and increased task performance. Since desynchronisation of alpha activity reflects enhancement of vigilance, our findings imply that blue light might disrupt the post-lunch dip. Subsequent exploration of illumination parameters will be beneficial for possible chronobiological and ergonomic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-810
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 4


  • EEG alpha activity
  • blue light
  • illumination
  • post-lunch dip
  • work efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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