This new app hopes to cure jet lag by personalizing your sleep schedule

Nowadays, long-distance travel is easier than ever—but no matter how easy the actual transportation itself becomes, there's one thing about travel that never gets easier: dealing with jet lag. The good news, though, is that - like everything these days - there's an app for that. This app called Timeshifter helps alleviate jet lag by creating a personalized plan for each of your trips, designed to adjust your sleep and wake schedule. The best part? It does this primarily through light - specifically telling you when you should make sure to see it and when you should try to avoid it.

Since the 1990s, NASA astronauts and mission controllers preparing for missions have used personalized light therapy plans to adjust their sleep-wake cycles to ensure they adhere to the correct timing within the relatively narrow takeoff window. surface. Subsequent research suggested the therapy might also be beneficial for people who work night shifts - but the creators of Timeshifters thought, why stop there? Why not apply the same principles to help travelers adjust to a new time zone? As the app's website points out, jet lag advice isn't one-size-fits-all. In fact, taking a one-size-fits-all approach "can actually make [jet lag] worse."

Apple App Store

Therefore, the app creates an individual plan for you and any upcoming trips you take. It starts by asking you some basic demographic information, like your age and your sleep type—that is, whether you're an early bird or a night owl. Then, as you start making concrete plans, you'll be prompted to fill in details about your trip: which locations you'll be traveling between; whether the journey is round-trip or one-way; how many stops (if any) you'll make; and, of course, Your departure and arrival dates and times.

From there, you'll see a schedule that covers not only the day you actually cross, but also the days surrounding it. For example, my plan for a coast-to-coast trip in a few months includes the day of travel, three days before travel , and a day and a half after travel. The schedule itself is divided into hours and contains markers for where you'll be changing time zones, which then lets you know when you should be doing two different things: prioritizing or avoiding exposure to bright light, and taking advantage - while sleeping or taking a nap. . Optional settings include when caffeine and/or melatonin should be taken or avoided.

Screenshot/Time Shifter

It's perhaps worth noting that actually implementing your plan may not be as easy as it sounds. For example, my East Coast-West Coast trip plan clearly states that I should prioritize exposure to bright light (preferably sunlight) at 10pm on the day I arrive on the West Coast. Apparently, actual sunlight will no longer be an option at this point. There's also no way I'm going to be able to use a sunlamp. The app does note that if sunlight isn't possible, you should "turn on all the lights... and try to find a blue-rich, cool-looking white light," but you know, that's still not easy at that time of night Find the right amount of light.

Additionally, Timeshifter is not a free application. You can download it for free; you can even create your first jet lag plan for free. However, after that, you either have to purchase individual plans at any time or take out an annual subscription, which gives you access to an unlimited number of plans. Packages are priced at $9.99 per session, or $24.99 for an annual subscription.

These prices aren't cheap, but if you travel long distances often — say you switch time zones fairly frequently — Timeshifter's paid service may be worth it. You can find more information on the Timeshifter website. Have a nice trip!