Timeshifter 2.1 review: If you cooperate, helps with jet lag
Timeshifter 2.13.5 / 5
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Waking up in a new city can be exhausting because of the time difference. The Timeshifter app can help combat jet lag if you are willing to put in some effort.
Depending on your destination and activities, excursions and hotel stays can add up to thousands of dollars. So that you can make the most of your vacation and travel expenses, you can shift your circadian rhythm in advance. Instead of being tired, grumpy, and not enjoying yourself, you can be alert and well-adjusted when your plane touches down.
Timeshifter is an app that acts like a friendly coach to help you shift your time zone before your departure date so that you can arrive bright-eyed and ready to explore. However, you may be inclined to think you can set timers to shift your time zone without an app.
Of course, you could take the time and effort to track down time zones in various cities, but it can be tricky and add to the stress of traveling. When doing it yourself, you need to calculate when to be asleep or awake and how many hours to shift each day. Adding to the equation, you must know when to start changing your sleep and wake times for your destination.
These are not all, however, because you need to maintain your sleep schedule on your travel date, which could involve layovers in cities sprawled across the globe. If this sounds like a lot to keep track of, it is.
That said, it is not what Timeshifter does for you actively but how it helps you do things for yourself. As to be expected, changing when to sleep and stay awake is highly intrusive to your usual routine.
This app is not for those with rigid schedules that make it impractical or impossible to follow its prompts to shift bedtimes.
Timeshifter is only as effective as you make it. The more closely you follow its guidance, the less jet lag you may experience on your trip.
This app has a clean and minimal user interface. There are few buttons to play with, as you only see three navigation buttons at the bottom of the app.
The left navigation button lets you set customizations for your personal needs, and you can choose whether or not to use caffeine or melatonin to help you shift your circadian rhythm. Each choice includes detailed information like possible side effects to help you decide what is best.
The middle navigation button is where you see a detailed daily schedule on when to expose yourself to sunlight and drink coffee if that is part of your plan. The timetable also shows you when to take a nap or go to sleep and when to use melatonin if you want to do so.
Tap an icon on the schedule for detailed guidance if you need more information regarding any part of your jet lag plan. For example, if you want to learn more about light exposure, tap on the sun icon for details regarding why you need to do this and how it impacts your jet lag.
To see your upcoming flights, tap on the right navigation button. You can add new flights by selecting the second or third navigation button and tapping the plane icon on the bottom right corner.
Adding flights and support
To add a flight, you must enter dates and flight numbers. It may seem odd that Timeshifter requires your flight number instead of just dates and times.
When testing this app, we asked the chat support why they needed this level of flight detail. They replied that they had the other approach earlier, but people made so many mistakes, and it took forever to add a trip.
Since they used your flight number to generate your jet lag plan, there may be less room for mistakes when building a schedule for you. After you enter the flight information, Timeshifter will give you a program for sleep and wake times based on your flights.
If you run into issues while adding a trip or have any questions, there is a chat icon on the top right corner of each screen. The chat window is very convenient as you can send your questions directly to support, also known as Jacob in the app.
The chat support is not open 24/7, but you can see when to expect a response by looking at the status in the chat window. In addition, you can email Timeshifter for help if you don't want to use the app.
When testing this feature, it took about an hour for Timeshifter support to reply during business hours. We sent another question via the app's chat support during non-business hours and received a helpful reply early in the morning the following day.
Urgent questions are unlikely to come up when using this app. Nonetheless, having the option to ask questions easily can make you feel even more supported when preparing for a different time zone.
Will help, if you work with it
Taking the time and effort to track down time zones in diverse cities may not seem like a big deal, but it can still add to the stress of traveling. Perhaps you already know the challenges of varying time zones if you have long-distance family and friends.
With these factors in mind, not to mention other preparations needed before flying overseas, it's easy to see why an app like Timeshifter can be a globetrotter's best friend.
Timeshifter is simple to use and takes the guesswork out of adjusting to new time zones. It can help you to methodically shift your bedtime well before your departure date so that you can dive right into vacation mode as soon as you step off the plane.
Timeshifter - pros
Timeshifter - cons
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Where to download
You can try the first jet lag plan for free on Timeshifter by downloading it from the App Store. After that, prices start at $9.99 per jet lag plan or $24.99 per year for unlimited jet lag plans. In a world of costly airport tariffs and resort fees, avoiding jet lag at these prices might be well worth it, especially if you frequently go on long-haul flights.