By some grace of the travel gods, I have never felt the pain of jet lag. Seriously, I’ve flown all day and all night, wide awake for hours and hours between destinations, and ever time I get off a plane I feel fresh as a goddamn daisy. I am basically a medical marvel, and scientists should study my superior brain and put me in a fancy medical journal (my email is on the contact page, thanks nerds).
For those of you unlucky enough to face altered sleep-wake cycles, fatigue, headaches and gastrointestinal issues (ew), Delta Airlines might have a cure for what ails you – and it’s as simple as standing in a brightly lit box for a few minutes.
Delta unveiled a special “photon shower” at the 2013 TED conference in Long Beach, California last week, claiming with great enthusiasm that the waterless shower has the power to reverse the telltale signs of jet lag. According to CNN, it all comes down to the basic science behind the ailment:
“OUR BRAINS CONTAIN A MASTER CLOCK THAT COORDINATES THE CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS OF OUR BODY’S MANY SYSTEMS,” ACCORDING TO DELTA. “THE SYMPTOMS OF JET LAG OCCUR BECAUSE THE BODY GETS OFF SCHEDULE, NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE DAY/NIGHT PATTERN OF ITS NEW LOCATION, BUT WITH ITSELF. THIS IS WHERE LIGHT COMES INTO PLAY.”
Still not seeing the connection between your body’s natural schedule and bright lights? You clearly went to college for liberal arts.
[OXFORD NEUROSCIENCE PROFESSOR RUSSELL] FOSTER AND HIS TEAM REPORTEDLY DISCOVERED A PHOTORECEPTOR IN THE EYE THAT SENSES LIGHT, BUT ISN’T USED FOR VISION. CALLED A “PHOTOSENSITIVE RETINAL GANGLION CELL,” IT RESPONDS STRONGLY TO BLUE LIGHT WITH A WAVELENGTH OF 480 NANOMETERS AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REGULATING OUR MASTER CLOCK.
So, it’s believed that if one surrounds themselves with this crazy blue light after crossing several time zones their internal clock will be set back to its appropriate position. Kind of reminds me of this girl I used to know who sat in front of a fluorescent bulb and claimed it helped her depression. I wonder what ever happened to her…
But that’s neither here nor there. As cool as it sounds, the photon shower isn’t being produced for the masses just yet (it was designed specifically for the TED conference), but it probably won’t be long before these light boxes start popping up in posh airports. Or, if anything, they’ll put one in the Kardashian korridor at LAX for Kim and her krew and call it a day.