The website that will help you 'fly without jet lag'

It has an algorithm claimed to "shift your body clock".
It has an algorithm claimed to "shift your body clock". Photo credit: Getty Images.

Jet lag is one of the few downsides to travelling, and it's also one of the hardest to beat.

But the person behind Jetlagrooster.com claims he's clocked the game of jet lag using a special algorithm.

Jay Olson's research has been published in the Scientific American, and he's used his findings to build a website aiming to help others with jet lag.

"We have decades of research demonstrating that bright light exposure, from the sun or a portable light box, can shift the body clock to reduce or prevent jet lag," says Olson.

"The challenge is that the ideal timing of the light is multifaceted. It depends on the traveller's flight times and usual sleep times, so it varies with each trip."

Jetlagrooster.com uses a purpose-built algorithm to create jet lag 'prevention plans'. 

These include seeking light at the right time, as well as avoiding it at others, and sleeping at the right times.

Olson says it's always important to drink plenty of water and eat fruit while flying.
Olson says it's always important to drink plenty of water and eat fruit while flying. Photo credit: Jetlagrooster.com

Although the website says the schedules are flexible, maximum effect will only be achieved if they are followed closely.

Olson said the feedback from users has been really positive. One of the hundreds of emails he's received came from someone in their sixties.

"His whole life he had tried every method to reduce jet lag, but none of them worked for him. He tried out the Rooster and now flies without jet lag - and has started to enjoy travel again."

I ran an example flight through the website to see what it told me to do, and here are the results.

Let's say I'm travelling on NZ2, Air NZ's service from Auckland-Los Angeles, on Monday night.

I've told the website the dates and times I'm travelling as well as my normal sleeping hours.

It says I should make sure I'm in darkness six hours into the flight, then introduce light two hours later for the remainder of the flight.

As well as following the custom schedule, Olson says it's always important to drink plenty of water and eat fruit while flying. He also recommends a power nap after landing, but for no more than 20 minutes.

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