The jet lag science
 

The jet lag science we have all missed.

How the latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience can help you eliminate jet lag.

 

Jet lag comes with significant consequences.

 Jet lag consequences for business travelers
 Jet lag consequences for athletes and sports teams
 Jet lag consequences on vacations
 

What causes jet lag?

 What causes jet lag?
 
 

Jet lag is caused when the sleep-wake and light-dark cycle shift too quickly for the 24-hour circadian clock in the brain to adapt. Our circadian clock easily adapts by minutes each day in response to the changes in sunrise and sunset, but when crossing multiple time zones quickly, the brain just cannot keep up.

 

The circadian clock controls the timing of many behavioral and physiological rhythms.

 The circadian clock controls the timing of most behavioral and physiological rhythms
 
 

It's situated in the hypothalamus part of the brain, and controls your sleep-wake cycle, alertness and performance rhythms, hormone production, temperature regulation, and metabolism.

 

Light is the most important time cue for resetting your circadian clock.

 
 

Acting through the hypothalamus, the right light exposure at the right time can significantly accelerate your adaptation to a new time zone. Seeing light at the wrong time will make your jet lag worse.

 Light is the most important time cue for eliminating jet lag and adapting to a new time zone quickly
 

Use of melatonin can improve sleep and speed up adaptation.

 

Melatonin is a natural hormone controlled by the 24-hour circadian rhythm. Melatonin is produced only at night, and its release tells the brain it’s nighttime. If you choose to use a melatonin supplement, and if you use it at the right time, it can help you to fall asleep more easily, stay asleep longer, and reset the circadian clock more quickly.

 
 Use of melatonin can help you to fall asleep more easily, stay asleep longer, and speed up adaptation to a new time zone
 

How timed light and melatonin affect your circadian rhythm.

 
 Phase response curve: How timed light and melatonin affect your circadian rhythm
 

Get energy from caffeine without disrupting your sleep.

 
 
 Get energy from caffeine without disrupting your sleep

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant and can help you stay awake at times when you should see light, to help reset your clock more quickly. But be careful, using caffeine at the wrong time can have negative effects on your sleep quality.

 
 

Additional energy from napping.

 Naps can be an additional tool to help maintain high levels of alertness and performance

Naps can be an additional tool to help maintain high levels of alertness and performance but they need to be scheduled at the right time to give you maximum recovery without affecting your scheduled night-time sleep.

 
 

What people do today (and why it isn’t working)
 

 

Follow generic advice

Jet lag receives a lot of media attention, but most tips shared in the media are generic, incorrect, and won’t help.

Use sleep medication

Sleep meds might help you fall asleep faster, but they don’t shift the clock, and you need to know the right time to sleep to reset your circadian rhythm.

Use stimulants

Caffeine can help with travel fatigue, but you need to know when to use it and when not to use it to minimize negative effects on sleep.

 

Trust airplane lighting

"Jet lag LED lighting" on new airplanes looks great, but often delivers the wrong light at the wrong time.

Travel business class

Being able to sleep well in business class is a great benefit, if you know when to sleep to maximize the circadian resetting. 

Stay at 5-star hotels

While 5-star hotels provide good mattresses and pillows, they don’t address the underlying circadian disruption.

 

Schedule recovery days

People schedule recovery days to get over their jet lag, but these are not needed if you know how to shift your clock back to normal quickly.

 

Our experts and advisors.

 
 
 
 

"The problems caused by jet lag cannot be tackled using generic advice, which is oversimplistic and can often be counterproductive, making jet lag worse. Each traveler and trip is different and requires a personalized approach taking your sleep pattern, chronotype, flight plan, and a range of personal preferences into account."

Steven W. Lockley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

 

 
 Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and renowned expert in circadian rhythms, sleep and jet lag, Steven W. Lockley, Ph.D.

Steven W. Lockley, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and renowned expert in circadian rhythms, sleep and jet lag. Spent 25 years studying sleep and works with clients such as Formula 1's elite and NASA astronauts.

 

 Medical Officer and Leader of Fatigue Management and Human Health, Performance, and Longevity Programs at NASA Johnson Space Center, Smith L. Johnston, III, M.D., M.S.

Smith L. Johnston, III, M.D., M.S.

Medical Officer and Leader of Fatigue Management and Human Health, Performance, and Longevity Programs at Johnson Space Center. Associate of Clinical Faculties for the Department of Aerospace Medicine at UTMB, Galveston, Texas.

 

 Chairman of Air Canada and a non-executive director of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Vagn Ove Sørensen, M.Sc.

Vagn Ove Sørensen

Chairman of Air Canada and a non-executive director of Royal Caribbean Cruises. Previously the President and CEO of Austrian Airlines Group and the Deputy CEO with SAS Scandinavian Airlines System.

 

 

Timeshifter is based on real science.

 
 

New research in sleep and circadian neuroscience emerges every month. Our experts are either authors of it, or know which studies are the most credible and impactful.

 
 

Sleep

 Latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience: Sleep

Light

 Latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience: Light

Melatonin

 Latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience: Melatonin

Caffeine

 Latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience: Caffeine

"HAS . GOT . TO . STOP !!"

Jet lag affects millions of travelers each day.
 

 Suzi Perry tweet on jet lag
 Selena Gomez tweet on jet lag
 Justin Timberlake tweet on jet lag
 Jim Gaffigan tweet on jet lag
 Simon Cowell tweet on jet lag
 Dan Rubin Tweet on jet lag
 Michael Salter tweet on jet lag
 Khloé Kardashian tweet on jet lag
 Saffron Barker tweet on jet lag
 Sheryl Crow tweet on jet lag
 Sam Smith tweet on jet lag
 Paris Hilton tweet on jet lag
 
 
 Whether traveling for business, going on vacation, or competing in a sports event abroad, the Timeshifter jet lag app, will help you arrive ready to go
 

Become a Timeshifter.

 

Join the community of Timeshifters around the world who demand a better travel experience. Whether you’re traveling for business, going on vacation, or competing in a sports event abroad, with this jet lag app, you will arrive ready to go.