Jet Lag And Light Boxes
It used to be that jet lag was just another part of travel. We all expected to just deal with a disrupted sleep schedule and its side effects (irritability, poor concentration, general fogginess) at either end of a good trip. But recent research has shown that jet lag is not only an inconvenience, it’s a serious disruption of the body’s systems.
Jet lag or dysrhythmia occurs when you travel east to west across more than one time zone to reach your destination. Crossing time zones prevents the body from receiving regular signals about the time of day from events like sunrise and sunset. This disrupts the body clock and can affect more than fifty physiological and psychological rhythms. Studies have shown that jet lag can cause memory loss and potential shrinkage within the brain. It has a negative effect on blood pressure. It can leave you unable to sleep, unable to concentrate, and even depressed.
Without treatment, jet lag recovery takes at least a day per time zone at each end of your trip. It might even take up to three weeks to adjust and the older you are the worse the effects get. Fortunately, research demonstrates that the cure is as simple as the cause. By treating yourself with la light box in the morning (when traveling east) or in the evening (when traveling west) you can simulate the light events that you would otherwise miss and help keep your natural clock on track.