We call this revolutionary approach 'destination scheduling', where the in-flight program is geared, not to the point of departure , but to the chronology of the destination. The theory is based on a simple precept. Currently, the staff aboard an aircraft announce the local time at the point of arrival. What does this imply for the jet-lagged traveler? If it takes x hours to adjust to a new time-zone, and y hours in transit, then the current method of scheduling means that the traveler takes x + y hrs to adjust to the new regime.
The new approach is to schedule the flight according to the destination: thus, all actvities aboard are times to represent the time-zone where the flight will terminate. The first action passengers carry out on boarding is to re-set their watches to the time of the destination, and meals (or entertainment, such as in-flight movies) are all in accordance with the timing at the destination. The effects are immediate - with this new timetabling in place, it no longer takes x + y hrs to adjust, but x - y. If a journey takes (say) 8 hrs and the time to adjust takes (say) 20 hrs. Current procedures mean that it takes 28 hrs to adjust. With 'destination scheduling', the time is reduced from 28 hrs to 12 hrs, an immediate reduction in adjustment time of more than 50 per cent.
That is simple mathematics. But the practical results are far better. The psychological readustment of in-flight familiarisation reduces this so much that negligible after-effects are often experienced. We find that immediate commitments after landing become a pleasure, not a chore.
In practice, the use of the system can even allow one to arrive after a transatlantic flight without redisual effects from jet-lag. The following bibliography sets out the articles and scientific papers establishing the concept. The idea is suddenly attracting interest and current discussions are under way to install the idea in practice.
BJF, 1988, On Avoiding Jet Lag, Nature, 331: 309, 28 January.
Minors, D. D. and Waterhouse, J. M., 1988, Avoiding Jet Lag Again [cites Brian J Ford], Nature, 322: 23-24, March.
[BJF, 1988, Jet Lag Response - unpublished submission to Nature, March].
BJF, 1989, Beating Time: Adjusting your Body to beat Jet Lag, Executive Travel, 11 (3): 77, March.
Report, 2005, [in] 24 Hour Health web site.
Report, 2006, link from the 'Ask Terry' web site.