Jet Lag App

Apple’s Jet Lag application helps individuals beat pesky jet lag in order to stay on their “A” game during their travels. Designed by Olivia Walch, the app reduces jet lag effects by outlining when a traveler should stay in bright light, low light, or stay in the dark. It also aids with a sleep and food schedule, and even suggests melatonin doses for those that are willing to take it.


“With the help of arrival and departure times of locations, Jetlag App calculates a schedule that helps you alter your sleeping patterns by suggesting times to sleep, wake and drink,” the site states. The app features an intuitive interface with algorithms for short and long trips. Once a destination and arrival date is tapped in, users are given a schedule for sleep, light, food, and melatonin that starts a few days before departure  “The application helps to restore your biological rhythm and adapt to the destination timezone more quickly.”


Effects light has on users is key in the app, stating, “On long flights, it is important that you are prepared on a large time difference between countries and that you are present in a light or dark environment at the right moments.” Though shorter flights cause less severe symptoms of jet lag, the app still offers ways to help combat an episode of the slug-bug through sleep and melatonin.


“The conventional wisdom is for every hour you’re shifting, it’s about a day of adjustment,” Walch said in a statement to NPR. In other words, a nine-hour flight to Italy from New York would take nine days to adjust without the help of Jet Lag, while it would take much less with. Or so she says.


I used New York to Italy as an example, because my recent travels brought me through that very route. And sadly, the Jet Lag App wasn’t at all what I had hoped it to be. The pre-travel adjustments coupled with the lighting recommendations (that I could not follow on the plane) were difficult to stick by.


I arrived to Milan tired, upset, and more tired. The app is $2.99, so I didn’t feel gypped, but nevertheless, it was a let down. With no scientific research to back it up, I should have known.


“Don’t waste your precious time with jet lag on long distance trips.”


Don’t waste your time on this app.