Colin Nagy | March 29, 2023

The Jet lag Edition

On flights, lights, and the tolls of travel

Recommended Products

The Jet Lag App® | Timeshifter®
The Jet Lag App® | Timeshifter®

Timeshifter is an app that prescribes specific activities such as when to see light, avoid light, rest, consume caffeine, and other small activities in a linear table to help adjust to new time zones quickly. It offers sleep optimization advice and can include melatonin and/or caffeine suggestions.

Performance Lab® Sleep
Performance Lab® Sleep

A sleep aid supplement that is useful for jet lag recovery. It contains magnesium glycinate and tart cherry, which has tryptophan (turkey sleepiness) and melatonin, making it a go-to sleep aid.

Colin here. Jetlag is the scourge of anyone who crosses time zones on a regular basis. A transcon can be mildly annoying but the LA to Singapore or New York to Dubai trip can put even the most seasoned travelers on low power mode. Noah just had a quick trip to Australia last week and is likely still turned around. A poetic way of looking at it someone once shared with me is you’ve traveled far and your soul hasn’t caught up to your body. And that latency doesn't feel great! 

Why is this interesting? 

There are a few tried and true remedies, ranging from the highly technical to the most basic and primal. On one end of the spectrum is Timeshifter, which is an app that prescribes specific things to do, when to rest, and when to consume caffeine to get you back on schedule quickly. They create a custom plan for you and prescribe small activities (see bright light) in a linear table.

According to the app:

Light is the key time cue for your circadian clock, so of course Timeshifter tells you when to see light and avoid light. Because sleep equals dark (you close your eyes), and because Timeshifter also helps you with sleep optimization, Timeshifter also tells you when to go to sleep and the best time for napping. Finally, you can turn on melatonin and/or caffeine advice.

It is plotted out, hour by hour in a nicely designed UX. 

This approach works, but it is an easy app to fall off of if you aren’t hyper-diligent with everything. And sometimes life gets in the way. I started it with the noblest of intentions, only to fall off a few days in. But, to be fair, the app does really focus on practicality so it comes down to individual discipline to have it work. 

Some other things I’ve learned over time (that I don’t always follow!), are eating as little as possible on the plane but drinking a ton of water. Turns out that digesting salty and heavier food in a pressurized cabin takes a toll on the body, which adds to your recovery. Hydration is a no-brainer, but can be accessorized with no sugar electrolytes. A very practical piece of advice is hitting the ground with 30 minutes of activity after landing: no excuses. A light jog or walk, or better yet, laps in a pool.  It gets the blood flowing and the muscles moving, which helps. For sleep, instead of relying on prescriptions to knock you out, I’ve found that magnesium glycinate + tart cherry is a go-to sleep aid. The tart cherry contains tryptophan (turkey sleepiness) and melatonin. This one from Performance Lab works well. 

I’m often aghast at what the Oura ring tells me I got for actual sleep on a 16-hour flight. Even an 8 or 9-hour doze equates to a few hours of skittish sleep. But being mindful of all or some of the above can actually knock a few days off the jetlag, which is meaningful when you are trying to enjoy or function in a faraway place. (CJN) 

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Thanks for reading,

Noah (NRB) & Colin (CJN)

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