Article at a Glance:
- The travel and tourism industry is steadily growing year over year, which means that more people are flying on planes and putting their bodies under stress — probably without even realizing it.
- Airports typically use LED or fluorescent lighting throughout their terminals and on their airplanes.
- When traveling across time zones the body is more susceptible to experiencing circadian rhythm disruption, otherwise known as jet lag.
- One of the best things that you can do to prevent jet lag and actually enjoy traveling is to manage your light exposure so that it’s easier adjust to the local time in your destination.
Traveling in Junk Light
Airplanes and airports actually have a huge impact on our bodies because they use a lot of artificial LED and fluorescent lighting throughout their corridors and aircrafts. This sort of “junk” light is harmful to our eyes and can disrupt the physiology happening in our minds and bodies — making us more susceptible to jet lag no matter how short or long your flight is.
TrueDark® technology can help you proactively combat the harmful effects of artificial light and preserve your natural circadian rhythm while you’re traveling.
TrueDark® Daylights are optimal for daytime use as they filter out the most extreme, artificial blue “junk light” that most man-made light sources display while also allowing enough light into your eyes to keep you alert during the day. This means that when you’re sitting on the plane, Daylights help tone down the blue light from your electronic devices and overhead lights to levels that are healthy for your eyes to consume.
TrueDark® Twilights are the night time solution for protecting your eyes and preserving your circadian rhythm – otherwise known as your internal clock – after the sun goes down. Essentially, Twilight glasses completely block out all of the sleep-stealing blue, green and purple light wavelengths that are in your environment. As a result, your body is synchronized with the darkness and understands that it’s time to rest soon. Your mind is able to reach a relaxed alpha state so that you can get restorative and restful sleep. When you’re on a plane, whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, it’s important that your body proactively maintains its circadian rhythm so that you’re fully functional by the time you land at your destination.
Before you leave
- Invest in headwear or eyewear that will help protect your eyes from harmful LED and fluorescent lights throughout airports and on airplanes. If you’re particularly sensitive to any amount of light, consider wearing a hat on a plane to block overhead light leakage.
- For overnight flights, set your watch to the local time in your destination’s timezone before you depart, and look up what time the sun is supposed to set there so that you can proactively help your body synchronize to your destination’s environment ahead of time.
Junk Light: The Dark Side of Blue Light
While we get natural and necessary levels of blue light from the sun, artificial light sources bombard us high levels of blue light day and night. This overexposure to blue light, what we term junk light, disrupts our circadian rhythm and depresses our melatonin production, the body’s main sleep hormone.
During your flight
- For daytime flights,wear your TrueDark® Daylights when you expect to land a few hours before you’ll be going to sleep.
- For evening and red eye flights, wear your TrueDark® Twilights the entire time.
Once you arrive
- If it is daytime when you arrive at your destination, wear your Daylights between 2pm and local sunset time. As soon as the sun goes down, switch to wearing your Twilights until you go to bed.
- If the sun has already gone down at your destination, wear your Twilights through the night until morning local time. (At all other times of day, you would wear your Daylights while traveling.)
Junk Light, Disrupted Sleep, and Your Health
Exposure melatonin disrupting junk light can have have effects on many aspects of your health
Sleep cycle disruption
Junk light exposure when traveling can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Long-term exposure to light at night which accompanies shift work is listed as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Light at night has shown to be highly associated with significantly the risk of hormone specific such as cancers of the breast and prostate.
The flickering wavelength of light associated with LEDs and compact fluorescent lights emit blue light that inhibits melatonin production but also create a unique glare that impacts your retina causing eye strain, headaches, and physical and mental fatigue.
Red light and darkness move leptin and ghrelin into patterns that are (context dependent) associated with less hunger, while blue light does the opposite and can move both into patterns associated with more hunger.
Anxiety/Depression & Depression
Increase in cortisol, the stress hormone, due to circadian disruption. Memory recall is impaired with consistent sleep deprivation and may leave you distracted and not performing your absolute best.
Start Optimizing Your Life
Harness Your Biology to Fight Junk Light
Your body requires some blue light at the right time of day and from the right sources. That’s why we created TrueDark® Sleep Technology that gives you 24-protection from junk light day and night.
Use TrueDark® Twilights When You’re Ready for Sleep
Stop Junk Light with TrueDark® Twilight technology that frees your hormones and neurotransmitters to do their best work.
When the sun goes down, blue light isn’t the only junk light that can disrupt our sleep cycle and more than blue blockers are needed. TrueDark® Twilight is the first and only solution that is designed to work with melanopsin, a protein in your eyes responsible for absorbing light and sending sleep/wake signals to your brain. Without melanopsin, melatonin can’t be accessed.
When you wear your Twilights for as little as 30 min before bed you prevent your melanopsin from detecting the wrong wavelengths of light at the wrong time of day. This supports your circadian rhythm and helps you fall asleep faster and get more restorative and restful sleep.
TrueDark® Daylights for Your Waking Hours
The highly advanced lenses in TrueDark® Daylights operate on a more advanced level than traditional blue blockers.
Blue light emitted from the sun helps regulate our sleep/wake cycle. However, in today’s world, we’re exposed to an overabundance of blue light, or junk light from artificial light. This includes hours spent in front of TVs, phones, and computers. It also includes time spent in artificial man made light with LEDs and fluorescent lights. Even if we’re simply reading a book, we’re doing that in artificial light which emit dramatically more blue light than the sun. That overexposure to junk light during the day has a dramatic impact on our neurotransmitters and hormones that are responsible for quality sleep.
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