Archive for the ‘Jet lag and global travel issues’ Category

Jet lag is more than fatigue—though the terrible fatigue you feel when you have it is certainly bad enough! When your body’s convinced that you woke up for the day at 3 a.m., or, depending on where you’ve been, stayed up until 3 a.m., it seems to beg you to quit.

photo credit: photo by eosdude via Flickr

Symptoms of jet lag can include insomnia and waking up early, and just not feeling well. It can even extend to digestive problems, muscle soreness, and menstrual problems in women.

There’s even evidence that chronic jet lag can negatively impact your brain. A study of flight attendants revealed a smaller temporal lobe in those who had insufficient time to recover between flights that cross time zones. Another study involving hamsters showed that the animals’ brains made fewer new neurons if they were subjected to the equivalent of a six-hour time zone shift.

Fortunately light therapy is a natural remedy for jet lag. For short trips within the continental United States and if you don’t travel a lot, you will probably find 15 minutes a day with our light box or light visor gets you back on track in no time. If you travel a lot, hopping continents as often as you visit the dry cleaner, you may benefit from the BioBrite Jet Lag Calculator, which will tell you how and when to use light therapy for a quick recovery. You can actually cut your recovery time in half this way.

Confused about light therapy? Check out MayoClinic.com’s great article on the subject and find out why it’s an effective treatment for several conditions including OCD, jetlag, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, shift work and postpartum depression. You might also want to see their piece on circadian rhythm disorders. A BioBrite dawn simulation clock, visor or light box could be what you need to help ease your symptoms. Feel free to contact us on our site www.BioBrite.com with any questions or concerns about light therapy treatment. As always, you should check with your doctor before starting any treatment.

The timing of light signals can be as important as how much light we receive. When the biological clock receives light signals at the wrong time of day, it can become out of sync with the real world, creating havoc with sleep patterns, digestion and other activities. This phenomenon, called “circadian dysrthmia,” is most often experienced in “jet lag” – another condition that responds well to carefully timed use of bright light technology.

Scientific research has shown that light at specific times during your body’s circadian cycle sets your clock Eastward and at other times, Westward. So the key is to seek bright light at the correct time and avoid sunlight at specific times. The timing is crucial. Light at the wrong time during a trip to Europe could send your sleep patterns to Hawaii! BioBrite offers the easy-to-use Jet Lag Combat Kit (with Light Visor) (#88200) and booklet “Preventing Jet Lag,” which tells you exactly how to use light to rapidly shift your biological clock to the new time zone. Any bright light source which is not standard room lighting will work, particularly the sun, but since light may be needed at night or on the plane, the Light Visor in the Jet Lag Combat Kit is the only practical choice.

By the same token, our other Light Visors and light boxes can help with certain sleep disorders which require the reset of circadian rhythms. Look for our upcoming entry concerning these sleep disorders on your friend lists and community posts!