Gear guide: Fight jet lag with futuristic glasses
Are you a frequent flyer who's sick of jet lag and insomnia?
Do you suffer from Winter Blues during these long, cold, wretched months? Do you have trouble sleeping because you work graveyard shifts at the casino? Have you been diagnosed with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder? And are you so exhausted that you can't stop answering questions on the Internet?
There's hope, my friend. Fix your sleep troubles with the Re-Timer 'light therapy glasses'. They're fancy, futuristic glasses that combat jet lag and sleep disorders by beaming soft green lights DIRECTLY INTO THE PHOTORECEPTORS OF YOUR EYES.
What could possibly go wrong?
According to Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, these "portable" glasses were designed by Flinders' professor of clinical psychology Leon Lack and his team.
"Photoreceptors in our eyes detect sunlight, signal our brain to be awake and alert, and set our rhythms accordingly," says Lack. "These rhythms vary regularly over a 24-hour cycle. However, this process is often impaired by staying indoors, traveling to other times zones, working irregular hours, or a lack of sunlight during winter months."
So Lack and his gang created light-emitting glasses to help advance or delay your body's clock. The glasses use 100% UV-free light, come with an adjustable nose piece, and weigh just 75 grams.
Here's how light therapy glasses work:
- Put the Re-Timer glasses on your face. (NOTE: Glasses are not to be worn while driving, skiing, kickboxing, love-making, piloting a plane, or any combination of the above).
- Turn your glasses on.
- Green light beams upwards into your eyes. You can choose between two different levels of intensity.
- Lack says this "stimulates the part of the brain responsible for regulating the 24-hour body clock." Or in other words, the light tricks the area of your brain that regulates your circadian rhythms.
- Depending on the time of day, you'll either wake up more alert or collapse into a deep sleep.
- You can wear the glasses while reading, watching TV, or working around the home or office. WARNING: avoid wearing glasses in public because they're so sexually appealing, you'll have to beat off romantic suitors with a stick.
The inventors recommend wearing the glasses for at least 30 minutes after you wake up, or 30 minutes before you go to bed.
“Green light is one of the most effective wavelengths for advancing or delaying the body clock," said Lack, adding that Re-Timer "is the only wearable device using green light.” He also says Re-Timer glasses are "safer and, in many cases, more effective treatment for mistimed sleep than drug alternatives."
Lack ought to know. His Re-Timer invention is a product of 25 years of sleep research and nearly a dozen years of design. His team of profs and doctors have advised thousands of people on sleep conditions, including Australia's national soccer team who are called (of course) The Socceroos.
The glasses are rechargable; simply plug them into your computer’s USB port. They cost $284 CDN which includes free international shipping. For more info, visit re-timer.com
What do you think...will you fight jet lag with green light glasses?
-- Ken Hegan
Read more of Ken’s MSN travel stories here
Follow Ken on Twitter: @KenHegan
Photos courtesy Flinders University and Re-Timer