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A "Quiet" Cure For Jetlag?

(October 31, 2003)

Interior aircraft noise has been a longtime problem when it comes to air travel. Research has shown that exposure to even moderate levels of noise can elevate blood pressure and spark an increase in the secretion of the stress hormone epinephrine. This hormone induces fatigue commonly associated with "jet lag". There's one gadget that promises to help reduce airplane cabin noise and in turn help combat jet lag, they're called noise canceling headsets.

How They Work

Most people aren't aware the sheer amount of disruptive background noise that's being transmitted to the ears on a daily basis. Noises such as air conditioning, fans, cars, trains, and jet engine roar. Put on a pair of noise canceling headsets and you'll notice a profound difference.

Headsets that use sound waves to cancel out background noise have been used by airline pilots for more than a decade. Now many airlines are providing noise canceling headsets to business and first class passengers. While they resemble regular headsets, noise canceling models have technology that analyzes background noise and sends an opposite sound wave to the ears, thus the "noise canceling" part of the name. These headsets are also multi-functional and can be used with a CD player, tape player, computer, or any other sound source (including the aircraft's own entertainment system).

In addition to combating jet lag, doctors note that noise canceling devices promote healthy headset set use. How? Simply put, they allow users to listen to music at lower volume levels, unlike regular headsets where users tend to turn up the volume to drown out background noise.

A Cure For Jetlag? AnitaVacation Test

For those seeking the sounds of silence, these hot gadgets are now more affordable than ever ranging in price from $50 all the way to $300. Still, many wonder do they really work? For the past three months, I tested PlaneQuiet headsets ($79.95) on two trans-Atlantic flights, two trans-Continental flights, and four domestic flights under two hours. I alternated between using and not using the headsets on various flights. What I quickly discovered is that I felt rested and relaxed after flights using the PlaneQuiet headsets versus the flights I did not use them. I'll admit, I was very skeptical of this product's claims of reducing jet lag; however, after testing it, I've become a true believer in this technology.

Outside The Box Inc., the maker of PlaneQuiet headsets, has done extensive testing of the product on frequent fliers and airline employees. David Dillinger, owner of Outside The Box, says, "Over seventy-five percent of the travelers felt less tired at the end of their flight. We have also found medical studies that supported this: low frequency noise leads to fatigue. If we take away the noise, the advantage is you feel better than the guy next to you."

While jet lag is caused by a wide range of factors, it's good to know there are innovative products out there like PlaneQuiet that can help reduce its effects.


Editors note:  Get 10% Off PlaneQuiet Headsets With Coupon Code: anitavacation 


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