Is this the key to beating jet lag? England Lionesses wear special glasses on flight to Australia

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England’s Lionesses have been snapped wearing special glasses that may just hold the key to beating jet lag. 

The European champions embarked on a long-haul venture to Australia on Wednesday – just days before the highly anticipated Woman’s World Cup in Sydney

Keira Walsh, Ellie Roebuck and Georgia Stanway were seen flaunting the sunglasses to help save them from sleep exhaustion. 

In a tweet, the Lionnesses wrote: ‘Time for the chrono glasses. Doing our best to beat the jet lag.’

The £255 ($325) glasses were made by the Netherlands-based Propeaq, who claim they can keep the mind and body alert at the right times.

England's Lionesses were snapped wearing special sunglasses as they embarked on a trip to Australia. Pictured: Players Keira Walsh, Ellie Roebuck and Georgia Stanway

England’s Lionesses were snapped wearing special sunglasses as they embarked on a trip to Australia. Pictured: Players Keira Walsh, Ellie Roebuck and Georgia Stanway

The £255 ($325) glasses were made by the Netherlands-based Propeaq, who claim they can keep the mind and body alert at the right times

The £255 ($325) glasses were made by the Netherlands-based Propeaq, who claim they can keep the mind and body alert at the right times

What causes jet lag? 

Jet lag happens when long haul travel disrupts your body clock – or circadian rhythm.

This internal cycle of bodily functions is synchronised to the 24-hour pattern of the Earth’s rotation.

So when people fly through different time zones, their senses are affected. 

Waking in the night, tiredness, wonky hunger patterns and even digestive problems and severe headaches are all common complaints from jet lag sufferers.

Fatigue, drowsiness and inattention reduce performance on a business trip or spoil the fun on vacation,’ Propeaq explains on its website.

‘Prepare your body for the other time zone by adjusting the biological clock at the right time. 

‘This way you avoid both the unpleasant feeling of lead in the shoes and the terrifying appearance of bags under the eyes.’ 

Jet lag – also known as circadian desynchrony – is a temporary sleep condition caused by a mismatch between the body’s clock and the external environment.

It usually comes as a result of rapid air travel across multiple continents and time zones.

Propeaq’s glasses aim to soften the impacts of jet lag through the use of interchangeable lenses that have blue and red filters. 

Dr Neil Stanley, an independent sleep expert, claims that while this concept is far from new, it is grounded in scientific beliefs.

He told MailOnline: ‘Blue light tells us it’s day time – the sky is blue. 

In a tweet, the Lionnesses wrote: 'Time for the chrono glasses. Doing our best to beat the jet lag'. Pictured: Georgia Stanway

In a tweet, the Lionnesses wrote: ‘Time for the chrono glasses. Doing our best to beat the jet lag’. Pictured: Georgia Stanway 

Pictured: Bethany England of the Lionesses taking a picture of her fellow football players

Pictured: Bethany England of the Lionesses taking a picture of her fellow football players 

These glasses were made by the Netherlands-based Propeaq, costing €299 which is equivalent to £255/$325.39

These glasses were made by the Netherlands-based Propeaq, costing €299 which is equivalent to £255/$325.39

‘What tells us it’s time to sleep is the absence of blue light – think of every sunset – they’re usually red or pink. The absence of blue tells us to go to sleep.’

Propeaq also adds that the ‘active’ blue light dampens the production of melatonin which is known as the night-time hormone.

Instead, it promotes the production of cortisol – the hormone known for encouraging action – which simulates the idea that it is daytime.

To use the glasses correctly, Propeaq advises wearers to partner them with its app.

Flight times and timezone information can be entered here, so that Propeaq can best inform users when to change the lens colour.

‘Your biological clock is tuned to sunrise and sunset,’ Propeaq explains. 

‘That clock can be shifted, but that can happen with a maximum of 1.5 hours a day without being bothered by it. 

‘So if you shift six time zones by travelling, you need four adjustment days. You can do this in the four days before the flight, but also, for example, two days before departure and two days after arrival.’

Despite these claims, filtered glasses and their effectiveness have long been a source of contention between sleep experts.

Dr Stanley branded blue light glasses a ‘waste of time’ unless a person was wearing them in tightly controlled conditions. 

Millie Bright, Mary Earps and Rachel Daly of England arrive in Australia

Millie Bright, Mary Earps and Rachel Daly of England arrive in Australia

Georgia Stanway pictured arriving in Australia, having taken the special glasses off

Georgia Stanway pictured arriving in Australia, having taken the special glasses off

THE FOODS TO EAT WHEN JET LAGGED 

Registered nutritionist Lily Soutter recommends the following foods to overcome jet lag:

  • Cherry juice – contains melatonin, which influences our body clock to aid sleep.
  • Kiwis – are high in the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin, which converts to melatonin in the body.
  • Eggs – are a rich source of vitamin B12, which regulates melatonin signalling in the brain and can induce alertness.
  • Green leafy vegetables – contain calming magnesium, which also regulates our sleep-wake cycle.
  • Whole grains – stimulate the release insulin, which manages our blood sugar levels and therefore our alertness.

He told MailOnline: ‘It’s unsurprising that athletes adopt these sort of things. It’s all about performance and optimising performance.

‘But the minute you see the Sun, it will totally negate what these will do.

‘Sunlight is a million times more powerful than anything these glasses can do.

‘Unless they wear the glasses all of the time, it’s a waste of time.’

Dr Stanley claims that any effect of these glasses will ultimately reset the moment they are removed. 

Even indoor lighting, getting in the shower or using an illuminated mirror could be enough to act as a time signal.

In order to truly tackle jet lag, Dr Stanley recommends that travellers should simply stay awake when it’s light and sleep when it’s dark in their destination country.

He also advised that eating food at the new ‘correct’ times will help to keep you alert – even if it’s just a Mars bar and not a full meal.

Sending the Lionesses to Australia two weeks in advance of the match would have been a big way to help too, Dr Stanley believes.

Following the long-haul flight to Australia, Georgia Stanway was among numerous other players seen to be wearing no glasses at all.

MailOnline has approached Propeaq and the Football Association for comment. 

TIPS TO PREVENT AND TREAT JET LAG 

Specialist sleep researcher Dr Yu Sun Bin from the University of Sydney says long-haul travellers can reduce their alcohol intake to help avoid severe jetlag (stock image)

Specialist sleep researcher Dr Yu Sun Bin from the University of Sydney says long-haul travellers can reduce their alcohol intake to help avoid severe jetlag (stock image)

TAKE A WALK 

Going for a walk in the sunshine is better than taking a nap to combat jet lag, airline research in 2019 found.

Qantas and University of Sydney fatigue specialists from the Charles Perkins Centre released their findings into how passengers cope with long, overseas flights.

Specialist sleep researcher Dr Yu Sun Bin, from the university team, said less than half of Qantas passengers surveyed took a walk outside after arriving at their destination.

‘We know that going outdoors for sunlight at the destination is one of the most important strategies for syncing the body clock, but only 47 per cent of passengers made the effort to do it,’ she said.

Sleep experts recommend walking outside after a long flight so a traveller can adjust to a new time zone. 

AVOID BOOZE 

Dr Sun Bin also recommended that passengers cut back on the amount of beer and wine they consume on a long flight.

‘Drinking more than a few glasses of alcohol will make jet lag worse,’ she said.

‘It might make us fall asleep faster but beyond a certain point, it also disrupts the quality of sleep and causes dehydration.’ 

The NHS says: ‘Do not drink too much caffeine or alcohol – they can make jet lag worse.’

EAT SUPERFOODS

Lemons have properties that will help to fight off dehydration, bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, which act as natural muscle relaxants, and cherries a natural food source of melatonin, a hormone that helps to reset the body’s clock.

Goji berries can enhance sleep quality and fresh ginger is another source of melatonin, according to luxury hotel chain Swissotel. 

If jet lag has affected your digestive problems, munching on super grain, quinoa, can offer some relief.  

…BUT DOES MELATONIN WORK?

Melatonin is a natural hormone released by the body in the evening to let your brain know it’s time to sleep – and it comes in tablet form as a method to reduce jetlag. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, melatonin aids sleep during times when you wouldn’t normally be resting, making it beneficial for people with jet lag.

‘As a jet lag remedy and sleep aid, melatonin has been widely studied, and it’s now a commonly accepted part of effective jet lag treatment,’ Mayo Clinic says. 

‘Your body treats melatonin as a darkness signal, so melatonin generally has the opposite effect of bright light.’ 

However, the NHS says melatonin tablets are not recommended for jet lag because there’s not enough evidence to show they work.

NHS tips to prevent jetlag are drinking plenty of water, keeping active by stretching and regularly walking around the cabin and trying to sleep if it’s night time at your destination. 

When arrived at your location, the NHS also advises changing your sleep schedule to the new time zone as quickly as possible, setting an alarm to avoid oversleeping in the morning and going outside during the day to soak up the natural light.  

 

 

 

 

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