Glasses Fight Jet Lag By Resetting the Body’s Internal Clock
Traveling far this holiday season? While exotic locations and great food is what you’re after, one drawback always seems to catch up to you: jet lag. However, the disorientation may just become a thing of the past.
Jet lag is the result of our biological reaction to abnormal shifts in sunlight patterns. To combat this issue that affects almost ninety-four percent of travelers, researchers at South Australia’s Flinders University have been working on a portable solution that would directly impact the brain to prepare travelers. Their solution? A high-tech pair of glasses named the Re-Timer.
The glasses work by utilizing light-emitting diodes, or LED technology, emitting a soft green light that tricks the brain into thinking it is still daytime. According to Professor Leon Lack, the Re-Timer’s chief inventor, “The light from Re-Timer stimulates the part of the brain responsible for regulating the 24-hour body clock … Using a light device allows you to transition your body clock to a new time zone in small steps. This eliminates the sudden change people experience after flying and reduces the symptoms of jet lag.” While it has been well-known for years that sleeping and waking patterns are regulated by sunlight, this is one of the first devices that is indeed portable and does not require a fixed power source.
In order to properly work, the Re-Timer must be worn for fifty minutes every night three days prior to a flight. Once a passenger arrives at his or her destination, the glasses must be worn for one additional night. The result? Your brain doesn’t get confused when nighttime suddenly becomes daytime.
What sparked the invention was the discovery that it was light at the blue and green end of the color spectrum which was effective in regulating the body’s internal clock, previously thought to be white. While the price is rather steep at $249, for frequent fliers the eyewear could be rather beneficial. Additionally, Lack states that the Re-Timer could also help issues as wide ranging as insomnia to getting teenagers out of bed in the morning.