If you’ve never experienced jetlag then it’s very hard to understand how difficult it is to overcome the effects of jumping across a number of time zones. It’s not simply a case of going to bed or just staying awake because when your body clock is thrown into a different pattern it takes time to adjust properly. There are, however, things you can do to help the fatigue and lack of energy subside including using light therapy for a few days before you travel. Although generally used to combat the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD Lights can offer so much more.
One of the worst things about jetlag is feeling sleepy when it appears that you should be awake. Imagine being at your dream holiday destination and finding that even in glorious sunshine and surrounded by stunning scenery all you want to do is close your eyes and drift off to sleep, but adding a lighting unit into your day can make a huge impact and help you to recover much more quickly.
Whether you’re travelling east or west will mean different things to how your body alters and how you should prepare for and prevent jetlag, as well as the number of time zones you’re travelling across. For Eastern travel towards the mainland and Indian Ocean start using light therapy such as a blue light in the morning for a couple of days before you leave, and using the rule of one day of light therapy for every two time zones crossed. It’s also advisable to go to bed and rise an hour earlier each day to encourage your body clock in its adjustment.
For those travelling West it gets a bit easier because people generally handle later time zones much better and you only need to use light therapy if travelling over four or more time zones; add an extra day for each 3 zones travelled over. Unlike Eastern travel, Western travel doesn’t require light therapy in the morning but rather in the evening, and when you arrive try to resist the urge to sleep until bedtime.
SAD Lighting helps combat jetlag by delivering a short and sharp burst of light to the eyes which stimulates areas in the brain that release the chemicals associated with good moods and sleep among others. By helping to adjust them and work at the right time, Light Therapy can be an extremely effective way to combat the annoying and inconvenient effects of jetlag; and leaving you to enjoy your days much better.