Helping dancers relax with LED light therapy

Could different shades of light provide us with a more calming sleep? Is there a link between the type of sleep we get and our subsequent physical abilities?
An innovative research study involving the Berlin Staatsballett and Philips hue LED lights looked into these relationships.

A gruelling regimen


The life of a top-tier ballerina is intensely rigorous. Rehearsals can start at 8am and last right up to the start of that evening's performance. It may be 3am before a performer finally lies down to sleep. This demanding schedule is repeated almost daily meaning that these hard working performers rarely get enough sleep.

Ballerina at Staatsballett Berlin

The lives of ballerinas

Ballerinas offer a behind-the-scenes look at their lives.

You have to eat, sleep and breathe ballet. You have to give up lots of things, all for your job. Your life is ballet."


Caroline Bird

Dancer, Staatsballett Berlin

No off-switch


Their bodies flushed with adrenaline, many dancers find it difficult to unwind enough to actually fall asleep. Their minds continually repeat steps, internally correcting, practicing, editing.

Philips Hue helps ballet dancers rest

Light sleepers

Sleep boxes using Philips hue lights help dancers rest and recover.

It's not just ballerinas

It’s not just elite performers who suffer so. In today’s ‘always on’ society, sleep is less and less valued. People boast that they can function on just four or five hours a night. Doctors, though, recommend seven to eight hours and warn that people who are chronically sleep-deprived often lose the ability to recognise how tired they are.

Sleep problems constitute a global epidemic affecting up to 45% of the world’s population."


World Association of Sleep Medicine 

Sleep restores, rejuvenates and energises the body and brain. The third of our lives that we ought to spend sleeping has a profound effect on the other two thirds in terms of alertness, energy, mood, body weight, perception, memory, thinking, reaction time, productivity, performance and safety.

Not something to yawn at


Lack of sleep can have consequences that extend far beyond an individual's mood.

= Hours of sleep

Drop in gross domestic product that comes from work-related stress as a result of lack of sleep.

= Increase in speed
= Free throw accuracy

2 hours more sleep a night resulted in notable improvement for basketball players according to a Stanford University study.

60% of adult drivers say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year in the USA.



Citation: National Sleep Foundation’s 2005 Sleep in America poll

Light box therapy


To assist the ballerinas, innovators at Philips have created sound-proofed sleep boxes infused with calming therapeutic light from an adjustable Philips hue system, allowing dancers to lie beneath them, helping to calm their bodies after exertions and finding instant relaxation. 

Philips Hue: The benefits of sleep boxes

The benefits of sleep boxes

Find out how sleep boxes came to be and their benefits for Staatsballett Berlin dancers.

Explore Philips hue


To assist the ballerinas, innovators at Philips have created sleep boxes infused with therapeutic light from an adjustable hue system, which can help to calm their bodies after exertions, and find relaxation. The light boxes are sound-proofed to provide peace and quiet. Click to find out more.

Benefits of hue light


You don’t have to be a ballet dancer in a light box to experience the benefits of Philips hue LED lighting technology which is already being used in workplaces. For instance, it can benefit shift workers who might need to re-energise within an office environment or perhaps those flying between countries on business and suffering from jet lag.

We believe that the hue light sleep boxes have really helped the ballet dancers to improve their performance and well-being."


Thomas Penzel

Professor and Sleep Researcher, Charité University Hospital in Berlin

See all our lighting solutions