Chandler’s Cross, England — Despite the typical overcast weather, a few Lions players wore sunglasses during their media session Tuesday.
Apparently, it wasn’t a fashion statement.
After the Lions hired coach Jim Caldwell in 2014, he enlisted the services of Dr. Meeta Singh, who practices sleep medicine at Henry Ford Health System. In addition to other recommendations, she suggested the players and coaches wear sunglasses at times to help overcome any jet lag after traveling to London.
“You may see some guys with sunglasses on early in the morning,” Caldwell said Wednesday at The Grove, the luxury resort where the team is staying. “They’re supposed to wear sunglasses until a certain time for the next couple of days. I have mine in my pocket.”
The Lions consult with Singh throughout the year as they try to ensure they’re alert for all their practices or games. Whether the team is on the west coast or playing a night game alters her recommended sleep schedules. Most of the players frequently take naps during the week, too.
“She has certain protocols that we use to get guys to adapt as quickly as they can,” Caldwell said.
Obviously, it takes a bit more time to adjust after a six-plus-hour flight to a place with a four-hour time change, but the players and coaches tried to sleep on the overnight flight, Monday into Tuesday, to help ease the transition.
Free safety Glover Quin said he tried to stay up late Tuesday to avoid a sleepless night, and other players noted the advice of Singh, too.
According to a New York Times report from 2012, wearing sunglasses until the late morning can help people reset their internal clock in London and ensure that seeing light later in the day makes people feel alert as it typically does.
“Your body is telling you when we get up and running that it’s 4-something in the morning,” Caldwell said. “That’s what it’s telling you, so you’re trying to trick your body into a little different norm.”