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.

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