Travelling to other continents to discover the world is one of life’s great pleasures. If only there wasn’t the problem of jet lag. Flying across multiple time zones completely messes up your body clock. And depending on the distance, physical and mental exhaustion can last for over a week.
However, both high-tech and simple solutions can help to bring the sleep-wake cycle back into balance.
The following gadgets can help with jet lag:
- Jet lag App
- Light Therapy
- The Human Charger
British airline Virgin Atlantic is providing its passengers in Upper Class with essential oils aimed at fighting jet lag. This aromatherapy treatment is designed to create a sense of well being and to aid deeper sleep. During the flight, passengers are given hot towels soaked with various oils. The idea is that they will feel refreshed, free from stress, and wake up revitalised before landing. For night flights, the airline is also handing out a special pillow spray which clinical trials have shown increases the quality of sleep.
It seems there’s an app for everything nowadays. So of course, there’s even some designed to help against the jet lag problem. Entrain tries to come up with a mathematical formula to synchronise your body clock with actual external time as quickly as possible.
The app asks for your normal sleep patterns and whether you’re generally more outdoors or in insulated office light. After long-distance travel, Entrain then notes when you should be in a dark room or when sunlight is useful. Different light intensities at the right time help your body to adjust and this can halve the amount of time you suffer from jet lag.
Even Airbus has tackled the issue. The aircraft manufacturer has incorporated special LED lights into the new A350XWB model designed to modulate the natural circadian rhythm of passengers so that they feel less jet lagged. Travelling eastwards, the aircraft is able to keep travellers awake longer with an extra bright blue light, while going west it will simulate an early sunset.
Finnish company Valkee’s idea seems a little bit out there: the first charger for humans. Visually, it resembles an MP3 player but instead of music the earplugs emit light. So how does it work? The device transmits UV-free, blue-enriched white light to the brain. According to the developers, this is the spot where we need it the most, and helps us to beat jet lag twice as fast as usual. Maybe you just have to believe in the effect.
If that wasn’t strange enough, how about cryotherapy? Generally speaking, this is the targeted use of extreme cold to cause a therapeutic effect. The idea is to lie in a chamber at minus 110 degrees for three to four minutes. Supposedly the procedure will help your body to better handle the effects of jet lag. But can you cope with the chill?