App that shortens jet-lag recovery for you
Posted on Apr 11 2014 | IANS
New York, April 11 : Do you need to remain air borne for most of the year and curse jet lag for frequent bouts of head spinning, insomnia and fatigue? This app is just for you.
Short disruptions such as jet lag and its symptoms of fatigue and insomnia can affect mood and performance.
Now, a different kind of jet-lag mobile app can help travelers snap their internal clocks to new time zones as efficiently as possible.
"Overcoming jet lag is fundamentally a math problem and we have calculated the optimal way of doing it," said Danny Forger, a professor of mathematics at University of Michigan.
"We are certainly not the first people to offer advice about this but our predictions show the best and quickest ways to adjust across time zones," he added.
The new iPhone app, called 'Entrain', is believed to be the first to take a numbers-based approach to "entrainment" - the scientific term for synchronising circadian rhythms with the outside hour.
Entrain is built around the premise that light, particularly from the sun and in wavelengths that appear to our eyes as the colour blue, is the strongest signal to regulate circadian rhythms.
Once you download the app, start by entering your typical hours of light and darkness in your current time zone.
Then choose the time zone you are traveling to and when, as well as the brightest light you expect to spend the most time in during your trip (indoor or outdoor).
The app offers a specialised plan and predicts how long it would you take to adjust.
The shortcuts the app offers are custom schedules of light and darkness depending on the itinerary.
"The schedules boil down to one block of time each day when you should seek the brightest light possible and another when you should put yourself in the dark, or at least in dim light. You don't even have to be asleep," Forger explained.
"If you must go outside, you can wear pink-tinted glasses to block blue wavelength light," Kirill Serkh, a doctoral student at Yale University, added in the study published in the journal.