Math app can help fight jet lag

Lana Bandoim's picture
Jet Lag App
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Information about the Entrain app has been published in PLoS Computational Biology and reveals that people can manipulate their circadian rhythms by adjusting light. Researchers view jet lag as an obstacle that can be overcome with formulas and planning.

The Entrain app

The new app is free and lets users monitor their circadian clock to prevent or stop jet lag from happening. Entrain is capable of working out an individual schedule for each person with the input of some simple travel data. Once you have entered the information, then the app gives recommendations for how to stop jet lag by changing light exposure. It allows a person to know if bright light or no light is needed during the trip.

Understanding what causes jet lag

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Jet lag is caused by interruptions in the normal circadian rhythms and is usually felt by travelers who cross multiple time zones. It can take days for a person to adjust back to a normal schedule while the body attempts to deal with the changes. Most experts believe that one day of adjustment is needed for each time zone that is crossed. For example, if you cross three time zones, then you need three days to feel normal again.

Some of the common symptoms of jet lag are insomnia and headache, but travelers can experience a variety of other problems. One of the biggest issues is they often have a hard time adjusting their schedule, so they wake up too early or cannot fall asleep. Jet lag can affect people at any age, and some have symptoms that are worse than others.

Ways to fight jet lag

The math app provides one solution to fighting jet lag, but other methods exist that have shown success. Some people find that they can adjust their caffeine intake to help them overcome time zone changes. Melatonin and other supplements have helped people while exposure to sunlight has always been important.

Image: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

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