About to fly halfway around the world? You could pop some melatonin in hopes of easing your inevitable jet lag. Or you could don a pair of odd-looking goggles and pretend you're modeling the Ikea line of Geordi La Forge eyewear.
Re-Timer, a lightweight wearable device invented to reset the body's internal clock, launched last week. It emits a soft green light onto the eyes to stimulate the part of the brain responsible for regulating the body's 24-hour clock.
Light received by photoreceptors in our peepers sends a signal to our brains telling us to wake up and smell the alertness. But circumstances including jet lag, irregular work shifts, and lack of sunlight during winter months can mess with the light we need to maintain a well-timed body clock and natural energy levels.
Enter the Re-Timer, which is meant as an alternative to sleep-assisting drug therapy.
"Our extensive research studies have shown that green light is one of the most effective wavelengths for advancing or delaying the body clock," says Re-Timer's lead inventor Leon Lack, a professor of psychology at Flinder's University in Adelaide, Australia, and a clinical psychologist at the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health.
Think of Re-Timer kind of like a seasonal affective disorder light box you put on your head. Lack recommends wearing the glasses for 50 minutes daily for three days, either after waking in the morning to advance the body clock or before bed to delay the body clock to wake up later. (I'd suggest anytime to look hip to the latest futuristic eyewear.)
The Re-Timer is designed to fit over your regular glasses so you can continue working while you're busy adjusting your circadian rhythms. While the Re-Timer has undergone independent ocular safety testing, it's not suitable for children younger than 12, as their crystalline lenses have not yet fully matured.
The product is manufactured in Australia by SMR Components, costs $273.90 AUD (about $286), weighs 2.64 ounces, and has folding arms for compact traveling. It promises four hours of battery life and comes with a USB charging cable for re-powering.
Also, and this is relevant to me... the Re-Timer Web site has a frequent-flyer calculator that lets you enter your departure and arrival locations for guidance on when to wear the headgear. I will be entering San Francisco to Paris, as I plan to have CNET send me to France so I can do a thorough hands-on product review.