Jet lag can be really annoying. Especially if your vacation is just one or two weeks long. The days you lose to fatigue (which may be topped off by bad mood that gets you into fights with your partner or hotel staff) really are a shame.
This blog is about the reasons and the true impact of jet lag and a great little wearable that just might give back the lost days of your well earned vacation.
What is jet lag?
You probably know the feeling but do you know all the details? Jet lag is a colloquial term for what physicians call “Desynchronosis” or “Circadian Dysrhythmia”. As the correct terms imply, it is a temporary desynchronization of our body to the day-night rhythm that is surrounding us. Most people think that jet lag is just a problem with being tired during the day or awake at night because our body is still running on some other time. That is true of course. But there is more to it than that.
The circadian rhythm
The circadian rhythm is controlled by light. More specifically, it is controlled by the blue spectrum of light. Most living things are in possession of blue-light receptors. Charles Darwin was the first to discover a plant in 1881 that responded to blue light. The so-called light-induced phototropic response was discovered. In plants there are two kinds of blue light receptors: Cryptochromes and phototropins. The first ones are also found in animals and humans. These receptors are positioned in our eyes from where they forward the information to our brain. From there on, a lot happens: The level of melatonin is regulated which in turn affects not only sleepiness and wakefulness but also cell regeneration, hormone levels, our entire metabolism, body temperature, cardiovascular efficiency, muscle strength and so on.
A new solution to a serious problem
By now you have already guessed the point I am trying to make: Jet lag affects much more that just our sleep-wake rhythm. The reason it can feel so devastating is that our entire system is struggling with its environment.
So what can you do about it? Since we can’t turn back time all there is left is to adjust faster. This can be achieved by not giving in to sleepiness during the day and not staying awake until morning just because you can. Try sticking to the new time as good as you can and force your body to accept the fact that it now exists in a different time.
But there is one more thing: You can already start resynching BEFORE your trip. That way you shorten the time needed to adapt. And that is where a great little wearable comes in handy: Pocket Sky. With the help of this blue light emitting light-bow you can suggest to your body that it’s morning, thus starting the resynchronization process well before your trip.
How to use Pocket Sky against Jet Lag
The exact use of Pocket Sky depends on the direction you are flying.
Travelling East: Upon arrival, you will be ahead of time. That means for your body it is later that what the actual time is. If you prepare with Pocket Sky in the days before your trip, you should get up very early and use Pocket Sky’s blue light to suggest to your body that it is morning already. That way your body won’t be that surprised by the sudden early start of the day.
Travelling West: Here you go to a later time zone. This means you should suggest to your body that it is morning when the time is actually later at your current location. Use Pocket Sky in the late afternoon to start pushing your rhythm in the right direction.
At your new location, use Pocket Sky in the morning to reassure your body and its chemicals and hormones that, yes, it really is a bright sunny morning. Try fixing your jet lag. You will notice the difference in the quality of your vacation. Have a safe trip!