Beware of the Dark Side: Using light to reduce jet lag
At ISS, we’re frequently travelling overseas to work with clients, and it’s safe to say we’re self-proclaimed nerds when it comes to avoiding jet lag.
On the top of our must-do list for avoiding jet lag is using light, especially when crossing more than five time zones (or through hyperspace).
In practical terms, when travelling west, get bright light for an hour or more starting from when you would normally go to sleep. This aims to delay your sleep and (hopefully) allow you to sleep in and wake up closer to your new time zones social schedule.
When travelling east, you would ideally get up earlier than normal and expose yourself to bright light for an hour or more in the few days leading up to your travel. Also turn your lights and devices (e.g. smart phones, tablets) off early, at least two hours before the time you want to fall asleep. This aims to kick your sleep time and wake up time earlier, more aligned with the social cues further east of you.
If you don’t mind looking nerdy like us, we recommend the intergalactic-looking Re-timer LED glasses. If you want to avoid light at certain times during your travel, search online for blue blocking sunglasses or use an eye mask.