Home > Online Clinic News > Light Glasses Designed to Beat Jet Lag

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by Robert MacKay, Tuesday, December 4, 2012 | Categories: Travel Clinic

Receiving adequate amounts of sleep is one of the most fundamental areas to help a person’s wellbeing. It is well known that sleep aids metabolism, alertness and even a person’s mood. However, travelling across time-zones is one of the most common ways of disturbing regular sleep patterns, which often results in jet-lag. Now researchers at Flinders University in Australia claim to have developed green light glasses that appear to adjust individuals’ circadian rhythms and as such could be useful to help individuals with their jet-lag.

The glasses work by emitting a light green light, which is picked up by photoreceptors in our eyes. These photoreceptors then signal to an area within a persons’ brain responsible for adjusting the hormones that play a part in regulating sleep patterns. Using light therapy to correct sleep disturbances in not novel, as studies have consistently demonstrated how travelling to other time zones as well as working irregular hours often disturbs this sensitive process that starts in the photoreceptors. However, this is the first time to our knowledge that glasses have been developed.

Flinders University is known for their sleep research department and the developers of these glasses claim it to be the outcome of 25 years of research. They further argue that this light therapy may be safer than other alternatives for treating jet lag. However, we are sceptical about this claim as no clinical trial data has been released. Similarly, the researchers have recommended that these glasses be used on a daily basis, which raises concern as to how useful they could be in curing one-off disruptions after a long journey.

We are glad to hear that treatments for jet-lag are still being researched however we would always be cautious to jump to any conclusions of a treatment’s efficacy without sufficient scientific support that has been peer-reviewed. We will be on the lookout for further findings in this area in order to evaluate their implications and will keep our readers updated.

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