Holiday Health

6 Crucial Jet Lag Remedy

Jet Lag RemedyBe on opposite sides of the globe on the same day! Physically possible with the man made wonder of the 21st century – the aeroplane. You can leave Tokyo at noon for New York and arrive there at 10.15 am. the same day. However, you do have a price to pay when crossing multiple time zones – jet lag – a total disorientation of your body rhythms and time sequence. The time differences between the point of embarkation and disembarkation could throw into chaos one’s sleeping, walking, eating and working routines and this could take days, even weeks to correct.

Jet lag is also often accompanied by symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, nausea, insomnia, irregular bowel movements, muscular aches and a general feeling of being unwell. You may ask then – how can I avoid jet lag? If your next trip involves a large time jump, try following these jet lag remedies and tips:

  • Psychological time adjustment. Set your watch and time schedule according to that of your destination. Let the expression ‘mind over matter’ take place and your body rhythms and habits will tend to follow in line with your thoughts. Choose a late departure time when flying west and an early departure time when flying east.
  • Meal and sleep adjustments. Once on board the plane, you can begin to adjust your sleeping and eating habits according to the schedules of your destination. While most airlines serve meals according to the schedule of the port of origin, it is left to you to adjust your own meal times. It may be helpful to take a high-protein breakfast and lunch, and high-carbohydrate supper to ensure a wakeful day and restful night.
  • Where it is night at your destination, wear a sleep mask, earplugs and try to sleep. Correspondingly, when it is daytime, turn on the light above your seat and try to keep awake. Most airlines will show the latest movies on long flights to help you while away the hours. This may also be the best time to catch up with all the reading that you have been putting off.
  • Drink plenty of water. Flying at high altitude, where the air pressure and humidity in the cabin is lower than that on the ground, can leave you dehydrated at the end of the journey. This will make you feel more fatigued and lower your body’s resistance to illness. Refrain from drinking beverages containing caffeine (coffee, tea and certain carbonated soft drinks, for example), as caffeine enhances the passing of urine and the dehydrating effects of low-humidity cabin pressure. AIso avoid alcoholic drinks, as alcohol disrupts your body rhythms.
  • Follow the local timetable on arrival. If you arrive in the morning, try to stay outdoors in the sunlight and keep active. Eat light meals during the day and take plenty of fluids, so that you do not overwork your digestive system. If you arrive at night, take a hot drink (without caffeine) and go straight to bed. By forcing your body to follow these strict rules, you speed up your internal body clock to keep pace with the local timetable.
  • Jetlag pills. Currently, research is under way to test a new pill that may help limit the effects of jetlag. The pill will contain melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, which is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light. There is evidence that a small dose of melatonin will delay the daily rhythm of the body clock when taken in the morning and advance it when taken in the early afternoon or evening.

By following these jet lag remedies, travelling should be easier and will certainly make your trip more enjoyable and comfortable, and help you adjust faster to the new time zone.