Travel Tips

Why You Should Wear Sunglasses at the Airport (Even If You’re Not a Celeb)

Kara Jillian Brown

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It takes a special person *cough, Rihanna* to wear sunglasses at the airport and not look ridiculous. But, next time you’re taking a long flight, it may be worth embracing your inner celeb, because wearing your sunnies pre-flight can help you avoid jet lag.

Rebecca Robbins, PhD, sleep expert and postdoctoral researcher at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, explains that strategic light exposure is one of the best ways to adjust to a new time zone.

“Light is the strongest input to our internal circadian rhythm,” she says. When we have new patterns of light and dark, she says “our body is completely confused about when it’s supposed to be tired, and when it’s supposed to be awake.”

You’ll want to start adjusting to new light patterns before you get to your destination. Here’s where the sunglasses come in. Say you’re flying to London. When you board your late-afternoon flight, it’s already night there. “You want to wear sunglasses [through the airport and on to the plane] to try to start to trick your body that it’s nighttime, so that you might have a better chance of getting sleep on the plane,” she says.

Dr. Robbins also suggests having a bigger meal before you board so you don’t need to stay up to eat dinner, and to wake up a bit earlier they day you fly, so you’re a bit tired.  Continue to wear your sunglasses through the flight until you get sleepy, pop on an eye mask, put in your earplugs, and bliss out.

Haven’t seen your sunglasses since August? Keep scrolling, we’ve got you covered.

7 cute sunnies we love, to help stop jet lag before it happens

1. Coach Wire Frame Butterfly Sunglasses, $165

These frames are your traditional cat-eye glasses’ much cooler younger sister. The amber lens and thin gold wire make theses glasses delicate, while still standing out.

Coach Wire Frame Butterfly Sunglasses, hot to avoid jet lag

2. Quay Australia Womens Upgrade #QUAYXJACLYNHILL, $34

If you still love a traditional black lens but are looking to change it up a bit, these Quay glasses, designed with beauty YouTuber Jaclyn Hill, are the perfect pair.

Quay Australia Womens Upgrade #quayxjaclynhill

3. Valentino Hexagonal Oversized VLogo Acetate Sunglasses, $460

We can’t get enough of winter whites, and these shades are the perfect addition to your collection. We love the big, bold, hexagonal frame.

Valentino Hexagonal Oversized V Logo Acetate Sunglasses, how to avoid jet lag

4. Nevermind Oversized Oval Sunglasses, $10

These big, round glasses are a statement on their own, and the red takes them to the next level.

Nevermind Oversized Oval Sunglasses

5. Oakley Top Knot, $216

These polarized lenses help maximize color contrast, filter light, and enhance visibility. Bonus: they transmit 11 percent of light.

Oakley Top Knot, how to avoid jet lag

6. Warby Parker Maisie, $95

These glasses combine the classic tortoise shell design and upgrade it with an oversized frame.

Warby Parker Maisie 7. Ray Ban Round Metal, $154

When you think of Ray Ban, you think classic aviators. The shape of the lens and the gold frame make this pair a bit more fun and different.

Ray Ban Round Metal, how to avoid jet lag

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