If you have ever flown for a considerable length of time, or tried to get comfy on a long train journey, then you know that groggy feeling when you land at your destination or catch that connecting flight. Travelling is tough on our bodies, that’s for sure. We wanted to highlight that the light environment that you expose yourself to during long travel times has a big impact on your body's ability to adjust to a local timezone. Jet Lag is common but there are steps to help you overcome some of the symptoms by planning ahead of your trip as we detail below. Travel smart, arrive fresh!
Light’s impact on your energy while travelling
The Sun emits natural Blue light which tells us to wake up and go get ‘em! In contrast to this, it is man-made artificial light that messes up our circadian rhythm, mixing up our awake/sleep triggers, especially when travelling!
With the development of industrial lighting, LED light bulbs and fluorescents, we have come to expect bright lights at airports, train stations and shopping centres. Yes, these lights deliver light, but they also emit considerable amounts of harmful High Energy Blue Light.
Travelling, especially long haul flights, are a tough and stressful experience on our bodies, from the uncomfortable sleeping positions to the questionable entertainment, to the queues at check-in. We go through a lot of emotional stress when travelling. Airports and aircrafts are filled with LED lighting that emits Blue Light. This Blue light really messes with our circadian rhythm, hence why we can feel extra groggy when we arrive at our destination. A recent study by Michigan University found that LED lighting on aircrafts helped airline attendants stay more alert and increase reaction time, but it did not help those trying to sleep.
It’s impossible to avoid all light on your travels! However, we have some tips below on how best to prepare your body and Eyes for lengthy travel:
In the Airport/On the Aircraft
- Wear Blue Light filtering glasses. From the moment you leave your house, put them on. What’s not to love? You look great and are also getting ahead of that dreaded groggy feeling that you know is waiting for you after your 12 hour flight. The Henshaw Blue Light lens’ filter out up to 92% of harmful blue light which is everywhere in an airport and on aircrafts. Put them on as soon as you get to the airport and keep them on until you get to your hotel! Our collection is made to prescription or without prescription, so ANYONE can wear them and see the benefits. Check out the key benefits you'll see from Blue Light glasses here.
- If you want to sleep, put an eye mask on. If you want to watch a movie, get those glasses back on!
- Hydrate: Transmeridian travel can cause significant levels of dehydration. Maintaining good hydration status by drinking little and often during travel as well as including electrolyte supplementation is important. Probiotics, Vitamin C and Zinc may be useful to support immunity which may be compromised by long-haul travel.
- Wear compression socks: These guys are a game changer. The pressure applied by compression socks improves the flow of a fluid known as lymph that is in the cells of the leg. When lymph is able to move around, your tissues experience a decrease in swelling & this can lead to reduced stiffness. No more struggling to put your trainers on after a flight!
In your hotel room
- The bulbs in nearly all lamps are either fluorescent or bright white LED. The hotel’s goal is to save money on lighting, not create healthy light that’s good for your brain.
- A recent initiative by IHG hotels saw them install "Task lights" into guest rooms. This product uses light technology to regulate the body's circadian rhythm changing the lighting to warmer, sleep enhancing spectrum at night. IHG have seen a big increase in better nights sleep among their guests!
- Solutions: If you don't have a "Task Light", turn on as few lights as possible. If it’s light outside, open the curtains and use that light for as long as possible. Or, at the risk of sounding redundant, use blue blocking glasses.
Preparation for travel is key. A lot of us book our flights months in advance, so now we need to prepare our bodies for the journey. A good start would be to check out our full range of Blue Light Filter glasses here. They are available with or without prescription, so there are no excuses, everyone can wear them and see the benefits!