Sleep glasses

Reporter: Francesca Belperio

They look like something out of a sci-fi flick but these high-tech specs could be the antidote that millions of Australians have been dreaming about. After 40 years of shiftwork retired nurse Stella Burnell suffered from severe insomnia averaging just a few hours' sleep a night and feeling exhausted, and she's not alone. Adelaide forensic professor Stewart Walker is a frequent traveller and as a result struggles to overcome jet-lag. These futuristic looking frames - a world-first Adelaide invention called re-timer sleep glasses, no drugs or side-affects.

Longer working days and busier lives means less sleep according to a recent Australian study almost a quarter of us don't get enough shut eye and risk getting sleep disorders and that could lead to more serious health issues like depression, diabetes, high blood pressure and even obesity. Flinders university sleep researcher professor Leon Lack spent 12 years developing the re-timer glasses he says we need around eight hours of un-interrupted sleep a night and wearing the glasses for just an hour a day could help. "The re-timer's designed for people who have problems with their body clock. People with some types of insomnia, jet lag getting over jet lag quickly, winter depression and shift workers. We know that bright light is the strongest tool we use to re-time the body clock"

Here's how they work. The glasses emit a blue-green light into the eyes that stimulates the part of the brain responsible for our circadian rhythms or our sleep and wake cycles literally tricking body clock so that you're more alert when awake and sleep more solidly at bedtime. "With people that have trouble falling asleep they only have to use them for an hour a day when they wake up before they go to work or drive anywhere for maybe 3-4 days in a row and that should probably be enough to allow them to fall asleep more easily. Or people who wake up too early in the morning and this is true in the older population you might need to use them for an hour in the evening and that would allow them to sleep in in the morning" 63-year-old choral singer Jenny Francis used the glasses before a recent trip to new york not only did she sleep for eight of a 13 hour flight but when she arrived at the other side of the world. But a good night's sleep doesn't come cheap the battery-powered glasses retail at $274 each these three are convinced the results are priceless.

For more information or to purchase the Re-Timer glasses:

(08) 9483 6611