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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fight jet lag? There's an app (or several) for that.

Being the travel nerd and lover of all things technomological as I am, I have downloaded all three of the available jet lag reducing apps available for your iPhone/iPod/iPad, have played with all of them and am reading to give you the drum on what's what in the world of jet lag-fighting apps.

1. Virgin Atlantic's Jetlag Fighter.

Developed in conjunction with Mental Workout, this app is supposed to allow you to register, develop a personal profile, then enter trip details. The app then calculates when you should avoid/seek exposure to light in order to get over your jetlag faster. Unfortunately, it doesn't work properly - half the audio files at the beginning don't play (at least on my iPad), and although I've set up a profile, I can't log into it - the app just shuts and boots me back out to the home screen. I've contacted them about it three times now - no response. Save your $1.99 I say.

2. iJetlag

It's cute. It suggests you "prepare yourself mentally" using their simple steps (I agree that mental preparation is key - more of that in another post) and use their audio tracks (purring kittehs!) and blue light function at various points to help reset the body clock. I'm not sure they're right about when to use the blue light - they seem to think it makes you sleep, actually blue light wakes you up and makes you more alert. I'm planning to use this a bit differently from the way they suggest - using the blue screens when it's morning at my destination rather than at night when I'm trying to sleep.

3. Brainwave sleep cycle tuner

This program has two functions (other Brainwave apps have more) - sleep and wake. Basically, sleep puts you to sleep and wake wakes you up (duh!) It plays slightly different tones in each ear, which apparently "entrains" your brainwaves to achieve the desired state. You can add four different sorts of soothing background noise - oceans, thunder, rain and 'pink noise'. It sounds a tad hokey, but I actually think it works - I tried it last night and the sleep one had me out like a light, and the awake one this morning made me feel quite a bit more alert. It may of course be psychosomatic... Anyway, two thumbs up to this, which I will definitely use when recovering from jet lag.

Search the iTunes app store for "jet lag" - there are a couple more apps including one that features the anti-jetlag diet, which I'll review for you soon. In the meantime, better than any app is my top tips for avoiding jet lag - I can tell you from experience, these actually work!

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