LED eyewear is under development that gives users a ‘light shower’, which utlilises circadian rhythms to make people more aware and awake, allowing them to beat jet lag quicker.
The glasses, which were developed by the German Skiing Association (DSV) and Osram can also be used to help athletes prepare for night races.
Light has a crucial effect on the body’s internal clock and can be used to circumvent circadian rhythms keeping us alert, whilst boosting concentration levels.
‘In high-performance sports, the slightest difference determines success or failure. The biologically effective light in these glasses enables the athletes to mobilise new energy reserves before night races and be more alert and focused,’ commented Karlheinz Waibel, federal trainer for science and technology at the German Skiing Association .
The prototype glasses are equipped with around 20 LEDs and offer a light intensity that is several times brighter than in the office.
To achieve the desired effect, the athletes wear the glasses for about 15 minutes before the race, or in the hours after a long haul flight.
The glasses are already gaining a winning reputation, as they were used before the victory of Felix Neureuther and Fritz Dopfer in the night slalom in Madonna di Campiglio in 2014.
‘In addition to top-class sport, the light glasses could also be used by airlines, for example, to reduce passengers’ jet lag by speeding up their adjustment to the time at their destination through targeted light simulation,’ commented Osram biologist Andreas Wojtysiak.
Besides the light glasses, the DSV also employs two other Osram luminaires during trips to other time zones and in Nordic countries, where there are shortened hours of daylight.
The specially developed luminaire for athletes’ rooms is used for individual competition preparation and helps athletes begin their day in a more active and focused way. In the evening, the light enables them to more easily wind down and regenerate their bodies.
With its high luminous flux, it functions like a ‘light shower;. Used individually or in combination, both systems help athletes or travelers to reset their biological clocks even on long trips overseas or to the Far East, for example.
Targeted light enables them to adjust to the local time much more quickly. As a result, jet lag symptoms are significantly reduced and the athletes return much faster to a balanced sleep-wake cycle, allowing them to better achieve their normal performance and reaction levels despite long, grueling trips.