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Can You Decrease Jet Lag With Exposure to Light?

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  • Exposure to light leads to advances or delays in your circadian rhythm, known as phase shifts, which can cause the symptoms of jet lag to disappear
  • Generally, when traveling east, exposure to bright light in the morning, and the avoidance of bright light at night, should help to minimize jet lag, while the opposite holds true when traveling west
  • You can achieve bright light exposure by going outdoors into the sunlight, using a light box or using a device that offers transcranial bright light (TBL) via your ear canals
  • When researchers administered TBL in the seven days following an eastward transatlantic flight, it led to a significant reduction in jet lag symptoms, sleepiness, fatigue and forgetfulness
  • If you need to avoid light exposure in the morning, consider wearing a pair of blue light-blocking glasses with amber lenses, which will help to prevent your melatonin levels from plummeting

By Dr. Mercola

Your body is designed to run on a 24-hour cycle, or circadian rhythm. Many things can throw this delicate cycle off, however, including traveling across multiple time zones. When there’s a disconnect between what time your body thinks it should be, and what the actual local time is, the resulting condition is known as jet lag, and it affects most air travelers who cross five or more time zones.

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