Contributor: Odinekachukwu Ishicheli
A light therapy headset – the HumanCharger – recently got stamped as “okay” by scientists after volunteers tested ot the device by flying from Finland to North America.
The HumanCharger designed by a Finnish scientist and engineer can reduce the time needed to fully recover from jet lag by as much as half using light therapy to maintain the body’s natural internal clock
According to an online report, users have to insert ear buds which beam bright light through the ear canal and onto the photosensitive regions of the brain for about 10-minute light therapy sessions multiple times a day during transatlantic travel.
And after conducting clinical trials among 55 volunteers, researchers gave the product their stamp of approval in a paper published in the monthly, peer-reviewed journal Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance.
For the study, the volunteers were flown from Finland to different parts of the US, where they spent at least one week on the ground before flying back.
The time difference varied between seven to 10 hours.
Upon their return, researchers measured jet lag symptoms using different questionnaires.
Results showed that the HumanCharger can reduce the time needed to fully recover from jet lag by as much as half.
Participants who used the device needed three to four days to recover from their jet lag, compared to seven days for the placebo group.
HumanCharger users also reported feeling less sleepy, fatigued, and forgetful. The device is also meant to reduce symptoms associated with jet lag including food cravings, low energy levels and lethargy.
Based on the results of the study, the device was recently designated a medical device by the EU.
Exposure to light is also the key factor for mobile apps like Entrain and Jet Lag Genie, which also help offset the effects of jet lag by calculating a sleep itinerary based on the flyers’ travel times and sleep patterns.