Jet lag can be a real problem for travelers making the first few days of a foreign trip a period of sleepless nights or fitful rest. Enter the Re-Timer, designed to reset your internal clock so that you don’t experience jet lag symptoms. Developed over a 25 year period by insomnia researchers at Flinders University of South Australia, Re-Timer is a portable light device worn on the face. The device emits a green light that when picked up by the eye’s photo receptors provides the same benefits as sunlight. This allows the wearer to regulate his or her sleep and waking patterns.
Re-Timer looks like a set of over-sized glasses. Wearing them 50 minutes three times a week readjusts the body clock. Wearing them in the morning reconditions the body clock to fall asleep earlier and wake up earlier. Wearing them at night delays the body clock, ideal for red eye fliers and those who work night shifts. They can be worn over glasses. So the Re-Timer is not just a jet lag tool. It has application to deal with almost any light deprivation issue. With winter approaching in the Northern Hemisphere and daylight hours shorter the Re-Timer can help those who suffer from winter blues. And for insomniacs the device can help them establish normal sleep patterns.
The website provides Re-Timer users with a calculator to determine optimal wearing time based on usual sleep and wake times. I chose to find out what would be optimal for me if I were to travel from Toronto, Canada to Rome, Italy on November 24, 2012. I put in my usual sleep time at 11:00 p.m. and wake time at 7:00 a.m. The Re-Timer calculator told me when I should wear it: in Toronto, on November 24 from 7:00 to 7:50 a.m., and in Rome the following day at the same local time.
Re-Timer is battery powered (charge lasts 4 hours and the device comes with a USB recharging cable for plugging into a laptop) and sells for $273 Australian (about $282 US and Canadian). Shipping is free if you order from the website. You have to allow five weeks for delivery so it won’t make your December 25th Christmas stocking this year. But if you celebrate the Eastern Orthodox Christmas you can still get it in time.