If you are crossing more than 3 times zones, especially if you are going EAST, you will likely experience jet lag.
Jet lag is one of the weirdest experiences you may have, not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your brain seems to be split into two different realities. All of the things going on around you in your new destination make sense because the sun is out (or not) and the normal things that go on at whatever time zone you are in, match with your external reality.
But there is often one significant problem, your brain is not exactly cooperating. You get tired when you thought you were awake, you get hungry at weird times (and can have weird cravings), and when you do manage to get in bed, your body feels exhausted, but your brain is ready to rock and roll (if you want to learn more about the ins and out of jet lag check out my blogs here). I’d also recommend packing a few Nightfood bars in your bag so that you have an appropriate nighttime snack in your new area and don’t have to go searching and make undesirable choices.
So, what is a weary traveler to do? I would like to introduce you to an application for your phone which has been appropriately named Timeshifter!
Based on NASA astronauts, formula one racecar drivers, and using real circadian science there is an easy to use app that gives you easy to follow, pre-flight, during flight, and post-flight recommendations which literally help eliminate jet lag, altogether. I know, because I have been using it here in Singapore, and will continue to use it, for my next destinations ( Jakarta, Tokyo, and Shanghai).
Here’s How It Works
I went to TimeShifter and downloaded the app (if you use the link in this post you will notice that you get your first plan for free!
I tapped “Add trip” and I was off and going. I choose my type of trip ( One-way vs. Round trip- I think multiple leg trips are going to be part of version 2.0). I put in if I have a nonstop or multiple stop flight (you can choose 1,2, 3 etc.). I punched in my origin city, departure date and time, then my destination city, arrival date and time, and then, almost magically, I was given instructions on when to use caffeine and when not too, when to be exposed to bright light or wear dark glasses, when to go to bed (even when to use Melatonin, if I want) and times for strategic naps, to keep my energy going.
It helped that I did this 2 days before my trip so that I could follow the pre-flight recommendations and begin shifting my internal biological clock. It also gave inflight recommendations for when to do all of these things in flight and then of course post-flight. It was super easy to use and extremely effective. I got off the plane in Singapore at 8am, and was doing a lecture by 11am, feeling really good and on my game. It seems as though the closer you follow the recommendation the better you feel and adjust.
Next week, I will let you all know about some of the interesting things I see and learn in Southeast Asia, about sleep in each of these countries, and some of the cool and interesting remedies I find.
Travel safe and Sweet Dreams!
While I am away if you find yourself struggling with sleep, you should definitely check out my sleep course, for less than the cost of a bottle or two of Tylenol PM you could be teaching yourself how to sleep better while I’m away! Also, if you want to learn more about travel, jet lag and travel sleep, here are a few other posts I’ve written on the topic that you may enjoy.
By Dr. Michael Breus | Aug 9, 2018 | https://www.thesleepdoctor.com/2018/08/09/jet-lag-travel-and-the-one-time-to-use-your-mobile-phone-to-help-you-sleep/