New Way to Prevent Jet Lag

Delayed aeroplane concept. Tired passenger is sleeping on luggage in airport terminal and waiting for airplane arrival.

Weary traveler suffering from jet lag.

Souvenirs, pictures, and stories are all items that come back with you after a trip, but what about something less desirable that leaves the airport with you? Do not worry; we’re not talking about tropical spiders. We’re talking about jet lag. Although, when you have a busy return day ahead of you, it may sound just as scary.

What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag is a phenomena where the body’s sleep cycle becomes irregular due to the crossing of time zones. Jet lag used to be perceived as a mental state, however, it is now commonly recognized as a medical condition. Jet lag can have symptoms that range from fatigue to stomach irritation. The science behind jet lag is that the body runs on its own biological clock, known as the circadian system. This function tells the body when to sleep and when to rise. Everyone has a circadian system and almost no one is immune to the effects of jet lag.

Who is Susceptible?

This groggy phenomena may not affect everyone the same. Although those crossing time zones are typically susceptible to jet lag, children and those physically fit may be more likely to have mild to no jet lag. In case you haven’t found the fountain of youth (don’t worry – we’re still looking, too) or if the word “fit” evokes a stuffed luggage rather than jeans, then Dr. Jaime Zeitzer has good news for you.

Restoring Your Sleep Cycle in a Flash

Sleepy young man rubbing his eye in bed at home

New treatment could prevent jet lag

In February 2016, the Journal of Clinical Investigation published the Stanford University School of Medicine professor’s possible solution to jet lag that can happen in a flash –literally!

Have you ever woken up from a nap to find that a friend or loved one has a snapped a candid photo of you sleeping? If they used a flash, then this is not too different than how Dr. Zeiter is now treating patients with jet lag. Those anticipating to cross time zones and seeking relief can now receive a treatment the night before their flight to minimize the effects of jet lag when they land. The therapy includes being exposed to a series of short flashes, like that of a camera, 10 seconds apart. The flashes are bright enough for your circadian system to register them, but will not disturb your slumber. This prepares your body for the shift in time zones before your plane prepares for takeoff.

Leaving Fatigue at the Gates

With this medical method, you can now leave the jet lag at the boarding gate, along with previous treatments and solutions. Traveling allows one to change up their day-to-day lives, however, coming back home often means jumping right back into it. If you can’t afford to lose any more time or energy after your trip, this new therapy may be beneficial to you. Using Dr. Zeiter’s method, you can have your normal rhythm back in a flash.