Timeshifter is a relatively new app I tried during the Asia trip I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.
Before going further, a quick reminder, I do not receive compensation for writing these App Hacks, and I do not have any relationship whatsoever with the companies that make them. I write these blogs simply to share hacks I have found useful.
For me, Timeshifter is a handy tool. I learned a lot from Timeshifter about dealing with jet lag, most importantly that the preparation starts a day or two before you leave. And, at least in the case of Asia, continues for several days after you return.
When it’s time to get started, the app sends you notifications telling you what to do. Actions are focused on taking melatonin (optional), drinking or not drinking caffeine (depending on your caffeine habits); when to get light, when to be in darkness and when to sleep. The makers emphasize that scientific research is the basis for the app and that the most important factors are the allocation of light and darkness.
The actions they suggest are reasonable and doable. Occasionally they are a bit inconvenient, like wearing sunglasses to simulate darkness, which could be challenging in a business meeting. That said, I mostly followed the regime. My husband, on the other hand, did not, so he was my control group.
Each of us had a significantly different experience on the return trip. While I wouldn’t say I had no jet lag, the symptoms I had were mild and I fully adjusted to our time zone in the amount of time the app told me to expect. My husband had several sleepless nights; I had none. While I didn’t sleep through at first, I was better each night and never felt exhausted. My husband had several days where he said he “felt like a zombie.”
I imagine each person is different, and our experiences are certainly not a statistical sample. That said, Timeshifter is easy to use and worth trying. I certainly will use it again for my next international trip.