Finding an activity cycle that helps overcome jet lag has been a popular search for sleep experts. Now a team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the University of Michigan has developed a computer program that takes input about your exposure to light and the time shift of the flight, and suggests when to time light exposure to reset the body clock.
From the article abstract in PLoS:
We present an approach to designing interventions that combines an algorithm for optimal placement of countermeasures with a novel mode of schedule representation. With these methods, rapid circadian resynchrony and the resulting improvement in neurobehavioral performance can be quickly achieved even after moderate to large shifts in the sleep–wake schedule. The key schedule design inputs are endogenous circadian period length, desired sleep–wake schedule, length of intervention, background light level, and countermeasure strength. The new schedule representation facilitates schedule design, simulation studies, and experiment design and significantly decreases the amount of time to design an appropriate intervention. The method presented in this paper has direct implications for designing jet lag, shift-work, and non-24-hour schedules, including scheduling for extreme environments, such as in space, undersea, or in polar regions.
Article in PLoS: Taking the Lag out of Jet Lag through Model-Based Schedule Design Dean DA , II, Forger DB, Klerman EB, 2009 Taking the Lag out of Jet Lag through Model-Based Schedule Design. PLoS Comput Biol 5(6): e1000418. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000418
Press release: Using math to take the lag out of jet lag…
Image: Steven Hodges