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Jet Lag? Here are the apps that help you manage it

October 2019

Business trip half-way across the world? Long-awaited holiday to explore America's National Parks? Whatever the reason, if you're about to board a long-haul flight, you already know that a sneaky enemy is about to pop up: jet lag. Fatigue, migraines and sleepless nights are common side effects of the temporal disruption that can ruin even the best of trips. The rule of thumb suggests that it takes one day to realign our schedule... for every time zone passed during the flight! Now, however, there are a number of apps which can help us manage the dreaded lag so we can quickly feel normal.

Jet Lag Rooster

The key element is light. Our inner clock is regulated precisely on the alternation of light and darkness, and jet lag interferes with our circadian rhythm. For this reason, it’s important to start adjusting to our destination’s time zone even before we get there, by tweaking the amount of light we’re exposed to: the little sleep mask is an excellent tool! But how do you know when to “turn off the light”? Jet Lag Rooster is here to tell us! When you insert the flight's details (dates, times and places of departure and arrival), you get personalised suggestions on how to acclimate to the new time zone. Jet Lag Rooster is available on Google Play Store for Android devices as well as on-line. 

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Entrain

Book your flight, pack your bags, and set your jet lag app: three key steps for a smart start to your journey. Entrain takes into account your habitual hours of sleep, and suggests an action plan that you can even start some time before your trip. It recommends when to go to sleep day by day, as well as when you should seek natural or artificial light. For smartwatch users who love their metrics, Entrain takes it one step further by integrating data relative to your physical activity, as long as you have an app or device that can monitor steps and heart rate. The icing on the cake is a short questionnaire on your emotional state and a brief test that records your reaction times. Developed at the University of Michigan, Entrain is available free of charge for iOS and Android. 
 

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JetLag Genie

In addition to customised suggestions for your upcoming flight, JetLag Genie reminds you to set your watch when it detects a change in time zone. This is mostly useful if your watch doesn’t update automatically. It's also possible to set push notifications in case you plan to take melatonin, a natural supplement which is often used to regulate sleep cycles. JetLag Genie is available for purchase only at the App Store (3.69 Euro).

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Stay Well

Launched in 2012, Stay Well is an interesting project that features 171 rooms in seven different US hotels, designed specifically for guests arriving from intercontinental flights: among its peculiarities are an energising lamp and an alarm clock that simulates the light of dawn. The initiative also features an app that can be used as a support to combat the effects of jet lag, offering suggestions on ideal hydration levels and recommended caffeine intakes during the trip. The app, free on both Android and iOS, can be used by anyone regardless of where they plan to stay. 

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