Most frequent travellers suffer from jet lag (dysrhythmia), which occurs when the body clock is not synchronised with an air traveller's new time zone, causing the disruption of more than 50 physiological and psychological rhythms. Studies show that jet lag worsens with age, particularly after age 50. Until recently, jet lag was dismissed as merely an unpleasant side-effect of air travel, but new research suggests that it also causes memory loss, shrinkage of parts of the brain and negative side effects on blood pressure. In one study, jet lag has even been implicated in the incidence of cancer. The common symptoms of jet lag are fatigue, poor concentration, trouble sleeping, irritability, minor depression, altered estimation of time and distance and digestive problems.
The symptoms are at their worst in the first two days after crossing three or more time zones. The general rule is that, without any specialized treatment, adjustment time takes about a day for each time zone crossed. However, if left untreated, two or three weeks may be needed to completely realign all rhythms correctly.
Sick of Ads?
Join more than 500 New Atlas Plus subscribers who read our newsletter and website without ads.
It's just US$19 a year.More Information
These symptoms of occur due to an upset of the human 'body clock', caused by a change in a normal sleeping and waking schedule. The human 'body clock' is a complex internal mechanism that serves to regulate our body's functions over time. It is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), a tiny cluster of nerve cells in an area of the brain known as the hypothalamus. This 'body clock' helps regulate breathing and heart rate, body temperature, blood pressure, hormone production, and other vital bodily functions.
Flying over multiple time zones, usually three or more, either east or west will upset the body clock, forcing the body to readjust its normal schedule of sleeping and waking, temperature control, digestion, and more. Studies at Harvard and NASA have proven that the human body clock can be safely shifted up to 12 time zones in two days with a precisely timed exposure to a sufficiently bright light.
Cutting-edge light technology has enabled The Litebook Company to make history by producing the world’s first handheld light therapy devices. An array of tiny white light emitting diodes (LEDs) produces a bright yet safe beam of light, making the Company’s two products -- The Litebook and The Time Traveler -- breakthrough developments in the field of light therapy.
LEDs use one tenth the power of an equivalent incandescent bulb, generate virtually no heat, no UV and are rated to last up to 100,000 hours. Yet another breakthrough for The Litebook Company is the recent research that suggests that the blue wavelength is most effective range for suppressing melatonin, the hormone linked to circadian and sleep disorders. The inventors of the white LED derived white light from a blue LED in 1999. This could account for the shorter treatment times found with Litebook products than existing light therapy devices.
The Litebook offers light therapy for Winter Blues, Fatigue, Bulimia, and PMS. By “bathing” in the light for 15-60 minutes/day, users can feel a heightened sense of alertness and well-being. It is not necessary to stare at the light, and indeed users are able to read, work on computer, watch TV/movies, eat, apply makeup, etc. -- so long as their eyes are open and the light is directed at their eyes. The unit’s compact size (portable CD player) and light weight (8oz/225g) make it easily transportable, for use at home, office, or other convenient locations. The unit is supplied with a slim AC adapter rated for 100-240V, so it may be used anywhere in the world. The Time Traveler model adds innovative features to combat Jet Lag.View gallery - 2 images