These nifty gadgets and apps will help you with jetlag on long-haul flights
JETLAG is the much despised side effect of business traveling. If you’ve ever rocked up to a meeting in a foreign land barely awake, you’ve probably fallen victim to the irrepressible spell of jetlag.
But fear not, for others have been in your shoes. These apps and gadgets were designed to prevent or cure jetlag, making that Monday morning meeting a little bit more bearable after a 16-hour weekend flight across the seas.
Before you succumb to nodding off at a client meeting, install Entrain to better manage your sleep patterns.
Because our internal body clocks are set to a regular rhythm of daylight and darkness exposure, a group of mathematicians at the University of Michigan built an app to cut jetlag time and get your body adjusted to a new time zone.
All you have to do is set your current time zone and schedule your new time zone, and the app will figure out a personalized light schedule for you, as well as inform you of how long it might take getting used to.
The app works similarly to Jet Lag Rooster (details below), but because it’s a smartphone app, it can monitor light and darkness directly through your phone.
Like the object of our dystopian dreams, the Human Charger literally generates UV-free blue-enriched white light into your brain. The world’s first bright light headset emanates light when you need it most, or when a jetlag app (like those listed here) suggests that you need more light than you’re getting.
To activate the Human Charger, simply plug in the LED earbuds and push the power button on. Thereon, white light starts flowing through your ear canals to the light-sensitive regions of the brain. After 12 minutes of “charging”, you should have the ideal amount of light needed to start the day.
The tool was built by scientists and engineers Juuso Nissila and Antti Aunio to fight the long, dark winters of their hometown in north Finland. With the Human Charger, everyone can be “happy, focused and inspired by another day, no matter the weather or time zone”.
Jet Lag Rooster
This online calculator aims to manipulate your light exposure before bedtime to adjust time zones more quickly. This way, you can sleep at you regular hours without being affected by sunlight.
Once the app figures out your jet lag-beating schedule, you can set alarms for its events: seek light, avoid light, sleep and wake up. The app also allows you to begin your adjustment period a few days before takeoff, which may even avoid jetlag entirely.
To begin, simply type in your itinerary and the calculator will email you an hour-by-hour breakdown of when to sleep, when to go outside, and when to seek sunlight. Your schedule is calculated based on science-backed research about the effect of light on jetlag, so it could be worth listening to these guys.
If you’re traveling economy on a long-haul flight, it’s difficult to get a good night’s sleep on a flight without tossing, turning, and letting out the occasional groan. To aid the process, you might be tempted to pop in a sleeping pill or order a second glass of wine, but don’t resist.
The Ostrich Pillow was designed to make napping possible – pretty much anywhere you want it to happen. The squishy headgear by Spain and Switzerland-based studio Kawamura Ganjavian was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, and creates the perfect conditions for a comfortable sleep at the airport or on a flight.
There’s no need for a hard surface to lean on when you want to sleep; simply slide the pillow on your head, and its warm, cave-like interiors will do the rest. According to Dezeen, it’s neither a pillow nor cushion, bed or garment, but a bit of each, all at the same time. Granted, the pillow looks mildly ridiculous in public, but anything for a good sleep.
This smart sleep mask was designed to assist with jetlag and help travelers get their body clocks in tune with new time zones. The mask functions via a mobile phone application that runs on light spectrum therapy, and can help users regulate their sleeping patterns.
After flight and destination details are entered, the mask syncs with the app and alerts users about when to seek light in the days before the journey. During the flight, it artificially triggers sensors in the eyes to trick the brain into adjusting to a new time zone.
Kamil Adamczyk, the 24-year-old responsible for the mask, said, “The device understands our body clock and with light therapy, it can manage the production of sleep hormone in the brain.” Finally, a gadget that literally watches you sleep.