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Camera Flash' Light Therapy May Fight Jet Lag

Update Date: Feb 11, 2016 09:20 AM EST

In a recent Stanford University-led study featured in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, scientists have found out that exposure to short camera flashes at night while sleeping can help people effectively cope with jet lag.

The researchers further revealed that quick flashing light therapy is more effective than the continuous light treatment as a means of keeping people's circadian rhythms as normal and stable as possible.

"This could be a new way of adjusting much more quickly to time changes than other methods in use today," said lead author Dr. Jamie Zeitzer as quoted by Stanford Medicine News Center.

The study involved an observation of 39 volunteers between the ages of 19 and 36. All participants were then immersed in a uniform sleep-wake routine for two weeks. Each one was either exposed to flickering camera light at 10-second intervals or continuous stream of light.

The research yielded some interesting findings after observations were completed. Results showed that camera flash delays sleepiness by almost two hours the following day as opposed to the 36-minute delay that a continuous light produces.

"If you are flying to New York tomorrow, tonight you use the light therapy. If you normally wake up at 8am, you set the flashing light to go off at 5am. When you get to New York, your biological system is already in the process of shifting to East Coast time. We have found that most people can sleep through the flashing light just fine," explained Dr. Zeitzer as quoted in a Daily Mail news article.

Apart from being a jet-lag treatment, flashing light is also useful in helping people deal with body clock changes such as workers in graveyard shifts or truck drivers, Times of Malta reported.

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