Jet Lag Study Offers New Bizarre Cure – Brief Exposure To Bright Camera Flashes

Jet Lag Study Offers Bizarre Cure – Brief Exposure To Bright Camera Flashes Before The Long Flight Prevents Travel Fatigue?

Jet lag can be avoided by brief exposure to bright lights, claims a new study. The bizarre cure needs to be administered the night before a long flight in order to be effective, according to a new study by Stanford University researchers.

Incidentally, it seems the strange cure needs to be administered while you are sleeping. However, once exposed, it will provide you with a fast and efficient method of preventing jet lag, claims the study conducted by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The research insists that the light resets the body clock, helping the traveller adjust quicker to a change in time zones, reported Canada Journal.

Speaking about the groundbreaking and ultra-simplistic treatment to one of the most common complaints among travelers, Jamie Zeitzer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, said, “This could be a new way of adjusting much more quickly to time changes than other methods in use today.”

How did the researchers arrive at the simple solution? A new study, published Monday in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, shows that flashing lights on your eyes during the night before you travel could help your internal clock to adjust to the natural circadian rhythm. The flashing lights achieve the same by “exploiting the biology in the eye.” The lights apparently work by tricking your circadian clock into getting used to different time zones, reported CNN.

To test their hypothesis, researchers tried flashing the lights every 10 seconds over a 60-minute period on the resting eyes of participants. They realized that doing so delayed the onset of sleep by approximately two hours. However, when exposed to a continuous beam of light for an hour, test subjects felt sleepy in only 36 minutes. What this essentially means is that flashing lights are a much better solution than a constant light, and more importantly, the flashing lights need not wake you up, making the jet lag cure a lot easier to administer.

While flashing lights on a sleeping person might not seem like a scientific cure for jet lag, Dr. Zeitzer explained that if you did a flashing light treatment before a flight from California to New York, your circadian system would already have moved two-thirds of the way before you even left, reported Reuters.

Incidentally, according to Dr. Zeitzer, the flashing lights treatment, though meant primarily for jet lag, could be used for many other people and not just weary travelers. Essentially, anyone whose sleeping patterns do not synchronize with the circadian rhythms and people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder could truly benefit.

He added, “Jet lag itself is really a nuisance syndrome as it is self-resolving. However, the treatments that are developed for jet lag can be used for less prevalent, though far more significant societal problems including delayed sleep in teens (in whom we have an ongoing clinical trial using the flash technique) and shift workers who try to flip between a night time schedule for work and a day time schedule for leisure.”

Jet lag is one of the most commonly occurring problems of the modern society. Incidentally, a new pill was recently developed to offer another ultra-simplistic cure for the condition, which can’t be strictly considered as a disease, but has numerous researchers striving to find a definitive cure. The pill, although a long way off from being available at your local pharmacist, contains a steroid-based compound glucocorticoid that can effectively reset the settings that govern our circadian clocks.

[Photo by Justin Horrocks/Getty Images]

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