Anyone who’s ever gone from Ann Arbor to Chicago knows that a time zone change of any size can be challenging to adjust to. When traveling overseas, chances are the time change will impact you more than you anticipate, not only because the sun may come up when you’re accustomed to going to bed, but also because the farther you go, the more time you spend trekking through airports, counting down the seconds until your layover is over, and losing sleep while crammed between the passenger next to you and the reclined seat in front of you.
Regardless of how long your commute is, there are plenty of apps that claim to eradicate jet lag, each with divergent reviews from travelers who have tried them.
Here are a few of the highlights we’ve found at varying prices and with unique features and approaches to suit your personal needs (all information courtesy of item descriptions in iTunes and Google Play).
Jet Lag Rooster (FREE through iTunes and Google Play) boasts “scientific research” behind its customized jet lag plans that focus on when to seek and avoid sunlight to optimize your jet lag adjustment. No internet or data connection required to operate.
Jet Lag Rooster allows you to select when you would like to start adjusting to your new time zone, and it provides daily schedules for your anticipated adjustment period.
StopJetLag (FREE through iTunes and Google Play) allows you to set your own travel plan and takes into account your flight schedule. This app reminds you of when you seek bright light exposure, food, sleep, exercise, and optional melatonin supplements. No internet or data connection required to operate.
JetLag Genie ($2.99 on iTunes) allows you to customize your departure and arrival locations, the usual times when you go to sleep and wake up, and your personal flight schedule. JetLag Genie generates suggestions for when you should seek and avoid light, sleep, and darkness before, during, and after you travel. It includes a Melatonin guide.
Jet-Lag Rescue ($3.99 on iTunes) utilizes individual pressure points in an acupuncture-esque approach to recalibrate your internal clock after you’ve traveled.
Jet Lag Rx ($9.99 on iTunes) offers suggestions for when to seek and avoid light, sleep, and food, but as of February 2013, a majority of consumers reported that it crashed frequently.
This post was written by an International Center peer adviser. It is in no way endorsed by the University of Michigan.