In 2018, we introduced Timeshifter® - The Jet Lag App®. Now, we are making the underlying, patent pending algorithm available to partners through the Timeshifting™ API. Timeshifting will enable you to integrate jet lag advice into your own website or app experience so you can offer your customers with the ability to generate personalized advice based in their own sleep patterns and schedule, choice of countermeasures and their biological clock. Once a flight plan has been entered, the algorithm can provide 540 different variants of each plan, providing greater personalization and therefore improved compliance and program performance.
A brief description of each user input is outlined below.
- Flight details: Users enter the departure airport, local departure date and local departure time and the arrival airport, local departure date and local departure time. If a two-leg flight, information for both legs of the flight is entered. A single flight leg has a limit of 16 hours’ duration.
- Sleep duration. Users are able to choose a proposed sleep duration of 7, 8 or 9 hours per night. Default setting is 8 hours per night.
- Sleep start time. Users are able to choose a proposed sleep start time of 10pm, 11pm, midnight, 1am or 2am. Default setting is midnight.
- Diurnal preference: Users are able to choose their diurnal preference, that is whether they are a ‘morning type’ person, an ‘evening type’ person or neither type. This choice, which reflects in part the period of their internal circadian clock, determines the rate at which an individual will shift per day depending on the direction of shift required (east or west).
- Trip pre-adjustment. Users are able to choose whether to start shifting their circadian rhythms for 1 or 2 days before the flight to help speed up the time is takes to adapt to the new time zone. Choosing not to pre-adapt means that the advice will start from the day of the flight. The maximum of 2 days’ pre-adaptation is recommended.
- Use of caffeine. Users are able to choose whether to include advice on when and how to use caffeine to support sleep-wake timing and being awake at the right time to expose themselves to light when appropriate.
- Use of melatonin. Users are able to choose whether to include advice on when and how to use melatonin to support circadian resetting and sleep timing.
The resulting plan contains a range of features which can be displayed as desired in an app. Information is provided in 1-hour bins. Multiple features can be required in a single bin.
- Sleep times at home and destination. The users sleep times are defined for 3 days before, during and up to 7 days after the flight (exact number of days depends on the rate of adaptation to the new time zone).
- When to see bright light. A key component of the TimeShifter algorithm is when the user should be exposed to bright light to facilitate resetting of the circadian clock. Exposure to as much daylight or electric light should be prioritized at this time. This advice can occur before, during or after the flight or during the layover.
- When to see bright light if possible. Users are also advised when it would be preferable to be exposed to bright light if possible to facilitate resetting but this exposure is not as crucial to the rate of adaptation. This advice can occur before, during or after the flight or during the layover.
- When to avoid light. A key component of the TimeShifter algorithm is when the user should not be exposed to bright light, and should minimize light exposure to the eyes by remaining in dimmer environments and wearing sunglasses.
- When to nap (pre-flight). Users are advised when to take a pre-flight nap to help their ability to stay awake later in the trip.
- When to nap (during layover or post-flight). Users are advised when to take a nap during the layover (for a two-leg trip) or after arriving at the final destination to help sleep recovery and to encourage wakefulness at times when users are asked to ‘see bright light’. These naps are subdivided into ‘strongly advised’ or ‘optional’ depending on the level of prior sleep loss.
- When to sleep on the plane. Users are advised when to try and sleep during the flight or, if not asleep at this time, when to avoid light and wear sunglasses.
- When to use caffeine. Users who already take caffeine (including drinks, chocolate etc) are advised when they can start and stop using caffeine to minimize the negative effects of caffeine on sleep and to promote wakefulness at times when light exposure is required.
- When to take melatonin. Users who decide to use melatonin are advised when to take it. The timing of melatonin is designed to promote sleep at the appropriate time and facilitate resetting of the circadian clock.