One unpleasant aspects of long distance air travel has nothing to do with airports or airplanes.
It’s “jet lag” and its all about time zones.
Despite the fact that we have learned to artificially light up our lives and dispel darkness with electricity, we seem to be cued to wake us up when the sun rises and head off to bed when it goes down at the end of the day just as though we were living in the time before our ancestors discovered fire.
So when we fly across the planet in a jet airplane and are transported from daylight to darkness and back to daylight at a speed faster than our brains can process the time change our sleep cycle gets disturbed.
Google “jet lag” and you’ll find various tips for dealing with jet lag, such as:
- Arrive at your destination in the morning and stay up until 10-11 pm that evening.
- Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks for at least a few hours before sleeping.
- Get up and go to bed earlier for a few days before a eastward flight, later if headed west.
- Avoid a heavy meal upon arrival at your destination.
- Try to get out and about in the daylight as much as possible after arrival.
And now when someone says “Jet Lag!” you can say “There’s an app for that!”
“Entrain” is a free app for Apple mobile devices such as the iPhone. It was developed by the University of Michigan Mathematics Department.
This video demonstrates how the app works.