BYO: JetLag Genie app

Can an app conquer jet lag?

To be on the top of your game when you’re travelling for business you need to have energy, something which can be difficult when you’re jetlagged after travelling thousands of kilometres and over several timezones.

There are energy tablets and homeopathic ‘remedies’ which claim to reduce the effects of jetlag, but unless you’re willing to go down the prescription medicine route the best you can do is manage the times you go to sleep to try and set your bodyclock correctly.

JetLag Genie, and similar apps on the Apple App Store, is an iPhone app designed to help you schedule when you sleep during and before a long trip, to prepare you for the timezone of where you’re headed.

There doesn’t currently seem to be an app with similar features on the Android Market.

You put into the app your starting destination and final destination, your usual bedtime, and the direction in which you’re flying (East or West) – and the app creates a customised sleeping plan for you to follow which tells you when to wake up, and recommends when to expose yourself to bright light to simulate sunshine.

Through the app you can set notifications for the different events in your customised plan, and it will even let you know when to change the time on your clocks.

A feature I haven’t tried is the app’s melatonin alert. The indicator tells you when best to take the melatonin, a hormone which helps regulate the body’s sleeping pattern, and is often sold over the counter at pharmacies to help travellers suffering jetlag.

The app itself is easy to use. All the main functions are contained on a single page, so you don’t get in a maze of setting features, and there is a help page with more information on jetlag and the effects of travel.

The effectiveness of the app is questionable, and the app maker himself admits so on the information page. Personally I felt much better than I usually do when travelling, and even if it was a placebo effect $4.19 seemed a reasonable price to pay.

I reccommend you try a free app with similar features by searching for ‘jetlag’ on the App Store, and if you find them effective give JetLag Genie a try.

JetLag Genie - $4.19

3.5 stars

* BYO is a new section in Computerworld that looks at devices and applications that are of interest to business IT users.

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