Travel a lot? Keep weird hours? Sleep is a common problem for designers, especially those with tight deadlines and an international client base. Every designer I know has their own secret remedy for managing sleep schedules and jet lag, whether that be diets or types of music or forms of exercise.
Enter the Retimer. A special set of glasses (that can fit over regular glasses), the Retimer beams light into your eyes to help you adjust your body clock. With a simple jet lag calculator, a frequent traveller can develop a simple schedule for wearing the glasses to help him or her adjust swiftly. Other possible uses? Night workers, insomniacs and those suffering from seasonal affective disorder can all stand to benefit.
But if glasses can be effective, why not just turn on the lights? When I travel, I use the lights in my room and work studio to help me adjust quickly. When it's bright out, I use an eye mask to manage my eyes' exposure to light. This is useful because light can creep in through windows and cracks in the door. But darkness? Not as much.
Another possibility might be the Spark, a smartphone/computer-enabled light that didn't successfully raise enough money on Kickstarter but was nonetheless an intriguing idea. It's not hard to imagine someone developing a simple script in Python or Ruby that times the lights just right for the amount of sleep adjustment you need.
An Xiao Mina is an American designer strategist and researcher who recently worked on the Gwangju Design Biennale's Un-Named Design exhibition. She focuses on the role of social media and communications technologies in building communities and empowering individuals. Find her on Twitter here.