Have you ever noticed that when you travel to a new time zone you feel tired, your mood is low, your appetite is off, and you have trouble sleeping when you want or have difficulty concentrating? You could be suffering from the effects of jet lag.
Jet lag, or dysrhythmia, occurs after east-west air travel when your body clock isn’t synchronized with your new time zone. It can disrupt more than 50 physiological and psychological rhythms. Unfortunately it also gets worse with age – particularly after age 50. Unaided, it takes your body 1 day per time zone to readjust. It may take 2 to 3 weeks to completely realign your rhythms.
Until recently, jet lag was dismissed as merely an unpleasant side effect of air travel. New research suggests that it may also cause memory loss, shrinkage of parts of the brain and negative side effects on blood pressure. The good news is: now there is help.
Clinical research conducted at NASA and elsewhere demonstrates that with a properly timed exposure to bright light in specific wavelengths, and a similarly timed avoidance of light, it is possible to safely and efficiently shift our body clock up to 6 time zones in 1 day, and up to 12 time zones in 2 days. With proper use of your light device and by following the personalized schedule determined by the points below*, your energy, mood, concentration, performance and sleep patterns can all be reset to your new time zone in as little as 60 minutes.
Recommendations and Resources:
◣ TRAVELING EAST: Seek bright light in the morning (destination time).
◣ TRAVELING WEST: Seek bright light in the evening (destination time).
◣ TYPICAL EXPOSURE TIME: Day of travel – 30 to 60 minutes. Second day – 15 to 30 minutes.
◣ LIGHT AVOIDANCE: Avoid bright light (sunlight) at specific times. This is just AS IMPORTANT as seeking bright light at specific times. If you receive exposure to bright light at the wrong time, you WILL make your jet lag worse – your body clock could end up Tokyo time instead of Paris time! It is not critical to avoid interior light, such as in a hotel room, office, or restaurant — although many frequent travelers report best results when they avoid any source of light during specified times.
◣ Light blocking glasses are the perfect accessory to help you combat jet lag. These glasses block 95+% of light in the critical blue wavelength (100% UV-A/UV-B), yet still enable you to navigate safely while driving, walking, etc. For use during the Avoid Light phase.
General Usage Instructions:
◣ Position light therapy device approximately 24 inches from your face but do not stare directly into the light as it will be hard on your eyes. Remember to keep your eyes open while using the light therapy device. Many people will read, watch TV, eat and workout with their device.
◣ Typically, you will know when you have received sufficient light. Most feel a sense of heightened alertness, energy, and/or mood.