Australian Scientists Launch Wearable Green Light Device That Resets Your Body Clock

By
By Andrew Karp: Group Editor, Lenses + Technology

 
 Claire Hoban models the Re-Timer at the Consumer Electronics Show
LAS VEGAS—Among the most unique and interesting new eyewear products at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show was the Re-Timer. Invented from 25 years of research at Flinders University in Australia, the Re-Timer is a portable device that helps high flyers beat jet lag, keeps shift workers more alert and gets teenagers out of bed in the morning by re-timing the body’s internal clock. It is worn like a pair of sunglasses and emits a soft green light onto the eyes.

“The light from Re-Timer stimulates the part of the brain responsible for regulating the 24-hour body clock,” said Professor Leon Lack, chief inventor of the Re-Timer. “Body clocks or circadian rhythms influence the timing of all our sleeping and waking patterns, alertness, performance levels and metabolism.

“Photoreceptors in our eyes detect sunlight, signal our brain to be awake and alert, and set our rhythms accordingly,” noted Lack. “These rhythms vary regularly over a 24-hour cycle. However, this process is often impaired by staying indoors, traveling to other time zones, working irregular hours, or a lack of sunlight during winter months.”

According to Lack, people who suffer from a mistimed body clock lie in bed for hours frustrated they cannot fall asleep. In the morning they wake fatigued which limits their performance during the day. Lack recommends wearing the glasses for three days for 50 minutes each day after awakening in the morning to advance the body clock, i.e. fall asleep earlier and wake up earlier. Or if falling asleep and waking up too early is the problem, he suggests wearing the Re-Timer for 50 minutes before bed if you want to delay your body clock, i.e. wake up later.

To read the latest edition of Eye2, go to www.visionmonday.com/eye2 and sign up for your own e-mail subscription while you’re there.

akarp@jobson.com