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Science explains, solves jet lag

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One time zone, two time zones, three time zones, snore.

Weary travelers of the world, fret no more! The Jet Lag Rooster will solve your problems. The curiously named website -- launched Jan. 1 by Jay Olson, who works in the psychology department at Simon Frasier University in British Columbia, Canada -- aims to make the traveler’s nightmare a thing of the past.

'Scientists have found that light exposure at certain times can start shifting your body clock.'

- Jay Olson, founder of the Jet Lag Rooster

“A rooster tells you when to wake up. Jet Lag Rooster tells you when to wake up to reduce jet lag,” Olson told FoxNews.com.

Scientists long ago solved the riddle of jet lag, he explained, tying the phenomenon that leaves us groggy and lethargic to the circadian rhythms that make our body clock tick. Those patterns control things like body temperature, when we’re awake and when we’re asleep, and how fatigued we are, Olson said. Jet lag occurs when your body clock isn’t in sync with the time zone.

“The challenge is, the public is largely not aware of this,” he told FoxNews.com. light exposure at certain times of day  can shift that body clock, preventing jet lag and making sure you don’t sleepwalk through your next trip. But trying to do these time zone calculations is challenging, he said. His site uses the science of sleep studies to do it for you.

Enter the date of your next trip -- including departure and arrival times -- and some simple details about your usual sleep patterns and the site will suggest a schedule for when you should seek and avoid light in order to reset your body clock.

“The guidelines right now are based on published research,” Olson told FoxNews.com. “As more research comes out I’ll be updating the methods. I’m trying to keep it current with the research.”

Jeremy A. Kaplan is Science and Technology editor at FoxNews.com, where he heads up coverage of gadgets, the online world, space travel, nature, the environment, and more. Prior to joining Fox, he was executive editor of PC Magazine, co-host of the Fastest Geek competition, and a founding editor of GoodCleanTech.

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