Sleep LED light glasses
AUSTRALIAN researchers have invented glasses claimed to cure and prevent jetlag, insomnia and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), as well as help shift workers cope with daytime sleepiness.
The device, called a Re-Timer, works by shining green light-emitting diodes (LEDs) attached to the glasses into the eyes for programmed intervals.
“The light is necessary for the retiming of your body clock or circadian rhythm,” said Professor Leon Lack from the School of Psychology at Flinders University, who is the inventor of the device.
“Our extensive research studies have shown that green light is one of the most effective wavelengths for advancing or delaying the body clock, and to date [ours] is the only wearable device using green light.”
Several journals have published data backing the technology behind the device as potentially effective in altering the body clock.
Professor Lack said the Re-Timer can help people with insomnia who find it hard to fall asleep as well as people who wake up too early in the morning.
Professor David Hillman, chair of the Sleep Health Foundation and director of the West Australian Sleep Disorders Research Institute, said light therapy was not new.
“[But] what Professor Lack’s glasses do is provide a much more practical treatment, a therapy which you can literally take around with you and program it to suit these variable conditions,” he said.
Professor Hillman also said he would recommend the device to his patients.
“You see these problems reasonably regularly and there’s no doubt that bright light can be used to push that sleep phase to where it needs to be,” he said.
However, it would not help people with insomnia who wake up repeatedly throughout the night, he said.
To prevent jetlag, a frequent flyer calculator analyses the amount of time the glasses need to be worn.
For example, those flying from Sydney to Berlin would need to wear the glasses for three nights, at timed intervals before leaving the country and for one evening upon arrival.
The device costs AUD $273.90.
Professor Lack has not sought TGA approval.