Australian scientists will today launch a world first – a wearable green light device that resets your body clock.
Invented from 25 years of research at Flinders University, the portable device 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.
Known as Re-Timer, the device is worn like a pair of sunglasses and emits a soft green light onto the eyes.
Professor Leon Lack, Chief Inventor, said “The light from Re-Timer stimulates the part of the brain responsible for regulating the 24-hour body clock. 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. These rhythms vary regularly over a 24-hour cycle. However, this process is often impaired by staying indoors, travelling to other time zones, working irregular hours, or a lack of sunlight during winter months.
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. Prof 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 and wake up earlier. Or if falling asleep and waking up too early is the problem, wear them for 50 minutes before bed if you want to delay your body clock i.e. wake up later.
- 100% UV –Free light source
- Able to be worn while reading and working on a computer
- Is compatible with reading glasses
- Independently tested for eye safety
- 16% of employees are classed as shift workers, with 30% suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness
- 94% of passengers experience jet lag after long-haul flights, with recovery taking up to 1 week.
How Re-Timer was developed
Since 1987 Professor Leon Lack and his team of researchers at the School of Psychology, Flinders University have been studying the effect of light on the body. In 2000, they embarked on building the first re-timer prototype, which was subsequently used in university studies. The results from these studies paved the way for the development of a commercial grade product. Four separate trials have been undertaken at Flinders University to assess the effectiveness of prototypes of Re-Timer.
Prof. Leon Lack
Professor Leon Lack is a Clinical Psychologist at the Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health (AISH). Further to this, he is a Professor of Psychology at Flinders University.
He is acknowledged internationally as one of the world’s leaders in behavioural management of insomnia and has conducted extensive research in sleep, circadian rhythms and insomnia over the past 30 years. For the last 20 years he has directed a clinic for the non-drug treatment of insomnia at AISH and has supervised many clinical masters and PhD students in this area. He was a co-founder of the Australasian Sleep Association and its president from 1989-1992.
Leon is the author of 80 peer-reviewed articles and has received research grants from bodies including the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council. Leon earned his Ph.D. from Adelaide University and received his Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University.
How to use Re-Timer
To advance the body clock (fall asleep earlier) the user wears Re-Timer for 50 minutes shortly after waking up. To delay the body clock (fall asleep later) the user wears Re-Timer for 50 minutes before bed. Typically, 3 – 4 days of use is required to realise the benefits of this light device.