The human charger jet lag experience
It’s that time of year and you think maybe i should go for a long haul flight, but you don’t want to miss out on as much as 5-7 days of your holiday due to the dreaded jet lag (Australia).
…to that end it kinda makes you wonder if it is really worth travelling all that way for a 2 week holiday just to miss out on most of it!
I was in the same boat, travelling long haul to Australia for my brothers wedding over the festive period, how the hell could i recover in time for the big day and how could i stop jet lag in its tracks
Enter the Human Charger by Valkee, a company based in Finland that pioneered research into blue light requirements, due to the constant darkness over the winter months.
Valkee says – “The human charger is a bright light therapy device that has a unique and patented mechanism of action which stimulates the photosensitive proteins on the surface of the brain using a calibrated white light that passes through the ear canals.
Using the HumanCharger® for only 12 minutes a day can significantly increase your energy levels, improve mood and increase your mental alertness.”
The idea is to use the light emitting headphones at various times upto and including your flight to fool the body into thinking it is daylight and to reset your circadian rhythm.
So if it works, for me this could revolutionise not only athletes who need to travel across time zones, but the population who would like to travel, but don’t want to waste time recovering from jet lag.
The product is expensive and has a lot of mixed reviews, so i was pretty sceptical. But as i had travelled to Australia in 2010 and suffered massively with Jet lag, i thought i would give it a shot.
I was flying on Friday at Midday and landing in Melbourne on Saturday night at 10:30pm
This was my routine leading up to the flight to get me close to the time zone i was travelling to
Wednesday, up at 5.00am. I usually get up at 0515 for work, so this wasn’t a problem
Thursday, up at 4.00am
Friday (Day of the long haul flight!), up at 3.00am
I used the human charger when i got up and at 0800 and at 1000 for the 12 mins it prescribed on all 3 days.
We boarded the flight and i felt great, because i was excited about the holiday.
I managed to get around 4-5 hours sleep on the first 11 hour flight at 5.00pm UK time, which was 3.00am Australia time.
We landed in Bangkok at 6.30am (7.30pm uk) i used the human charger and went into my breakfast routine. Coffee and food.
The challenge was to use the human charger on the second flight and not go to sleep at all and i knew this was going to to be a mission!!
We took off at 8:00am Bangkok time, challenge on!
The human charger prescription was to use it for the following times:
11am Australian time – 12am Uk time
1pm Australian time – 2am Uk time
3pm Australian time – 4am UK time
5pm Australian time – 6am UK time
So then i had to endure the last 3 hours trying to stay active so i didn’t sleep for any of the remaining time of the flight, which was really hard work. But i definitely feel that without the human charger i wouldn’t have managed it.
We got to Melbourne and into our accommodation at 11:00pm and i was in bed for 11:30pm.
I managed a solid 6 ½ hours sleep which is a damn site more than i got last time i was in Australia.
The following day we spent it walking around Melbourne and getting the sun on our skin, feeling tired and jet lagged, so in my head i’m thinking, is this really going to work, it was the same feeling as last time, i was sure that when i went to bed, i would wake up within 3 hours and be wondering around looking for something to do!!
Nope, i slept for around 8 hours and on day 2 i had no signs of jet lag
So, does the human charger work..? Yes and no
The reviews are mixed and i understand why, luckily for me, i had some extra tips on sleep hygiene and how to manipulate certain variables to get the best out of my sleep…
No caffeine 8-10 hours prior to getting sleep, no alcohol on the flight, plenty of water, get out and walk around in the bright light of day when you hit your destination to ensure that you adjust to the local time as soon as possible.
If you manage everything to do with sleep hygiene, then the human charger works and is definitely worth the price tag.
If you just plug the light into your ears and do nothing else with regards sleep hygiene, then you might as well not bother.
It is an ingredient in a whole host of other ingredients that can be used in your sleep hygiene cake, but i believe it is probably one of the most helpful.
It reduced my jet lag from 5 days from the last time i was in Australia, to just 1 day this time and i would have it in my cake mix every time.
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