A Successful Plan to Beat Jet Lag

As someone who loves to travel, I’ve experienced my fair share of jet lag. The fatigue, insomnia, and general feeling of being out of sync can really put a damper on a trip. So when my son and I planned a trip from Toronto to Perth, involving three different flights, I knew we needed to find a way to beat jet lag.

We all have our go to method to beat jet lag (don’t eat on the plane, go for a walk when you arrive, stay awake as long as you can, pop an Ambient on the flight), but very few of them actually work, and fewer still are based on science. So I did a quick internet search which led me to the App Store where there are several apps that claim to help beat jet lag. Some of the apps claim to work by offering exercises to help adjust your biorhythms, while most claim to help by adjusting your circadian rhythms through exposure to light and dark. The app we decided to use is called Timeshifter.

The developers of Timeshifter include a Harvard Medical School Professor, a NASA Flight Surgeon, former NASA astronauts, and a tech entrepreneur, so the app is based on the latest research on circadian rhythms and jet lag. International Space Station astronauts experience a sunrise or sunset every 45 minutes, so the space agency has been very interested in learning how best to keep their astronauts alert when they need to be alert, and have them rest when they need to be resting. Here on Earth, we typically don’t have this problem. We wake when it’s starting to get light, and we go to sleep as it gets dark. When we travel across multiple time zones however, that’s when we need help. Timeshifter uses an algorithm that takes into account your location, sleep pattern, chronotype (morning person or night owl?), and your flight itinerary, to create a personalized plan for you. The plan includes recommendations on when to seek or avoid light, when to take naps or stay awake, and when to take melatonin or caffeine. The first plan is free, subsequent plans are $9.99, or $24.99/year for unlimited plans.

One of the things that impressed me about the Timeshifter app was how easy it was to use. The user interface is clean and minimal, making it easy to navigate. The app also provides helpful reminders and notifications throughout your trip, so you don’t have to worry about remembering what to do next.

Another great feature is that it’s not just for long-haul flights. The app can also help you adjust to new time zones when you’re traveling by car, train, or bus. This makes it a versatile tool for all types of travel. And the app dynamically takes into consideration flight delays, and will adjust the plan as your flight plans change. Who hasn’t had a flight delay in the last 6 months?

To get the most out of the app, and beat jet lag as much as possible, you have to stick to the plan. Avoiding light by using sunglasses, or getting as much direct light as possible by getting outside can be relatively easy, but at times the plan will suggest going to sleep when your grandparents do, or sleeping on the flight (unless you are circus contortionist, this is impossible in an Economy seat).

My son and I followed the app’s recommendations as best we could during our 31-hour journey, and we were amazed at how good we felt upon arrival in Perth, a 12 hour time difference. I’m convinced that we were able to adjust to the new time zone more quickly and felt more rested and alert following the long journey to Australia as a result of using an app to help with jet lag.

I paid to use Timeshifter, so this is a legitimate review and endorsement. There are other apps available. Do your research and choose the one that’s right for you.     WRITTEN BY KARL KANNSTADTER

About Denise

My goal is to simplify travel-planning through an equal exchange process where I acquire your ideas and expectations for your trip relieving you of the worry, hassle, stress and time that accompanies Do-It-Yourself planning.

Recent Posts

Will you need a “Visa” to visit Europe in 2024? Here’s what to know

starting in 2024, the European Union is preparing new document requirements for American citizens to visit. Is it technically a “visa”? No. But there will be some additional hoops to jump through before you can begin your European escape. Here’s what is changing and what you need to know.

Stay safe on your next vacation with these crucial tech tips

We all like to assume people are inherently good. Unfortunately when traveling, sometimes that isn’t always the case. With your phone and other technology, it’s a good idea to be cautious when a helpful stranger offers to take a group photo. You key in your PIN and...

What’s the best cruise cabin for you?

Cruise lines offer a dizzying array of cabins for you to choose from. Fortunately, your travel expert can help vet all the options for you. Do you tend to get seasick? Want to be close to all the action? Whatever your travel style, there is a location best suited for...

It’s hot outside! How to travel safely during a heat wave

There has been a lot of news coverage recently about the extreme temperatures in much of the northern hemisphere. Traveling in the summer has its perks – generally it’s peak time for tourism so everything is open and running, but you do need to be weather-aware....