June 30, 2005
UK airline calls in sleep doctor to cure jet lag
By Michael Smith
LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways has called in a
specialist to find a cure for jet-lag, potentially a dream come
true for sleep-deprived frequent flyers.
six months studying the best way to snooze at 30,000 feet as
well as tricking passengers' body clocks to cope with time zone
"There is definitely a way of controlling the biological
clock by avoiding or exposing oneself to light, and we want to
see if we can find a way of teaching passengers how to do it,"
Idzikowski told Reuters Wednesday.
The study, which BA hails as a world first, will look at
the differences that east-west and west-east flying has on the
body clock, at best sleeping positions and the ideal time to
take a nap to reduce jet lag.
Devices to block out light, even after arriving at the
airport, and recreating the aroma of a passenger's bedroom on
the plane are some of the more radical ideas that will be
For long-suffering red-eye regulars, a cure for jet lag may
appear to be as far off as a cure to cancer.
In the meantime, Idzikowski recommends a few simple steps.
Do not eat too much or drink alcohol during a flight, wear
comfortable clothing, and buy a pair of noise-reduction
In what has been dubbed "the battle of the beds," BA and
Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic Airways have been trying to
outdo each other with new first-class flat bed offerings.
Idzikowski, former chairman of the British Sleep Society,
said the study could also provide solutions for the humble
economy class passenger.