Your High-Tech Way To Battle Jet Lag

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


A little ways back, I wrote about the different ways you can avoid jet lag, some of which included such high-tech tips such as putting your sunglasses on at night (to trick your body into thinking it was your destination’s nighttime already), and making sure you quickly adapt to your new bed (and wake-up) times. Of course, to do this, you would potentially have to — gasp! — employ basic arithmetic.

But that was sooo 2012, it’s now 2013, and of course, there’s now a site that will tell you exactly when to do these things:, which bills itself as “using science to prevent jet lag.”

Jet Lag Rooster asks you to simply input your beginning and ending locations, as well as your flight times, and in return, the site returns a detailed itinerary as to when exactly during the day you should begin to “seek” and “avoid” light in an effort to quickly shock your body into its new time zone. Some ways Jet Lag Rooster suggest you seek light is to spend time outside (hopefully you will be doing some of this anyway on your trip), or sit yourself near a bright window à la Jimmy Stewart. To avoid light, simply throw some sunglasses on during inappropriate times (like during your business meeting), and avoid the outdoors like your 13-year-old nephew.

For example, if one were to hop on perhaps the most jarring of flights in terms of jet lag — the UAL 117 overnight flight from New York to Hong Kong — on a Thursday afternoon at 3:35 p.m. and arrive the next day at 8:16 p.m. Hong Kong time (or about 6:16 a.m. your body time during daylight savings time), Jet Lag Rooster suggest that on Saturday you head outside from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., then head into the dark from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. These times are pushed back every day, which means by Wednesday you’re sitting by a bright lamp from 8 p.m. to midnight, and by the following Saturday you’re holed up inside from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Ultimately, this means that by Sunday, you should be fully acclimated.

Of course, avoiding booze, drinking lots of water and for some reason, catching up on the new season of Parks and Recreation (news to me!), are also helpful in making sure you’re your chipper self as soon as possible.


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