A new app will help you get ahead of jet lag by making a personalized plan to put you back on track.
If you’re a frequent flyer, then you already know that jet lag is literally the worst. You’ll fly into Newark from Copenhagen and not be able to sleep until 5 AM. By the time you wake up the working day is already almost done and it’s time to go back to sleep again. Or worse, you just don’t sleep at all and instead go the next few days like a zombie, complete with desperate cravings for brain meat.
There’s no way of getting rid of jet lag or that desire to feast on the flesh of the living, but there is now a good way to manage it thanks to the new Timeshifter app. Available on both iOS and Android, Timeshifter was developed by circadian rhythm expert Doctor Steven Lockley, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School.
Timeshifter tries to get ahead of jet lag by addressing its underlying causes. Jet lag happens when you travel far enough east or west to start crossing time zones. Normally people don’t really experience jet lag until they cross three time zones, but some especially sensitive people might experience it with just one time zone crossed.
Jet lag is caused by interruptions to the body’s normal circadian rhythm caused by different light-dark cycles and sleep-wake cycles than what the body is used to. This normally manifests as interrupted or elongated sleep, but can also affect mental health and even digestion as everything is related to your circadian rhythm.
So how does Timeshifter work? According to their press release, "Timeshifter not only provides advice to alleviate the disruptive symptoms of jet lag such as insomnia and sleepiness, but addresses the underlying circadian disruption by rapidly resynchronizing the circadian clock to the new time zone, reducing the negative impact of jet lag on other brain and body functions."
Timeshifter helps you create personalized “jet lag plans.” First, you type in your starting parameters such as how much and when you normally sleep. Then you type in your flight and adjustment in time zones. Finally, the app spits out a personalized plan on when you should sleep and when to avoid caffeine. It’ll even give you a pre-flight routine to make the adjustment to your new time zone even easier.
The app is available on App Store and Google Play for $9.99 per round trip jet lag plan, or $24.99 per yearly subscription.