Avoiding Jet Lag
you’ve ever lain in bed, staring at the ceiling, eyes wide open at
3:00a.m. and you did not have an impending tax audit the next day, you
were likely suffering from Jet Lag. Jet lag is one of the most common
problems of modern jet travel. Whether it is dozing off during an
important business meeting or being wide awake in the middle of the
night, the effects of Jet Lag are experienced by 94 percent of
long-distance travelers, Some of the symptoms include:
- Lack of concentration and motivation
- Disrupted sleep after travel
- Discomfort of legs and feet
Medical evidence also shows that jet lag makes travelers more susceptible to colds, flu, and stomach upsets.
What Causes Jet Lag?
greatest cause of jet lag is rapid transit across world time zones. The
more time zones we cross, the greater the disruption of our body clock
(which governs our temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure, and
physiological patterns), resulting in disorientation and mental and
Sitting still for long periods of time in flight
causes discomfort and possible swelling of the legs and feet (see our
article on "Deep Vein Thrombosis"). The dry atmosphere in airliner
cabins can cause body dehydration. Altitude and pressure changes at each
landing and takeoff also upset body systems, and although airliner
cabins are pressurized, these changes are significant causes of jet lag.
It hardly seems that so many problems could result from merely traveling in an aircraft.
What Can We Do?
Here are some of our favorite strategies for resetting your body's clock.
preparation for a long trip often means you're tired before you begin.
If at all possible, get enough rest in the days prior to your trip, so
you can start out strong and full of energy.
best if you can sleep on the plane. Earplugs, eyeshades, and a
comfortable neck pillow are well worth the effort of packing if they
prevent you from losing a day to jet lag. Try to take care of as many
travel details as possible before you leave so that flight day is
stress and anxiety-free, and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Set
your watch to the destination time as soon as you board the plane.
travelers have depended successfully on No-Jet-Lag to help them feel
fresh on arrival. It's a surprisingly effective, natural homeopathic
product that addresses all the symptoms of jet lag, not just
For a high-tech solution, especially if you like to
listen to music as you rest, try our noise cancellation headsets rather
than your own headset. It generates its own "anti-sound waves" to
counteract the noise in the cabin.
While a drink or two may relax
you, alcohol can dehydrate you, making your symptoms worse. Also, Flight
Safety Expert Diana Fairechild (author of Jet Smarter) says "Avoid
sleeping pills and mind-altering pharmaceuticals on the day you fly. In
the event of an emergency, you will need all your faculties in order to
Lots of it. Plan on 8 to 16
ounces during each hour of travel. Taking your own water bottle can save
you the awkwardness of repeatedly pressing the "call button" for
another glass of water, and will help you resist caffeinated and sugared
drinks, which can actually make you more dehydrated. Have a nice, long
hot bath when you arrive to re-hydrate and relax.
long periods of sitting on an airplane, bus, or train are hard on your
body. Walking and stretching exercises in flight will help your body
adjust to the new climate. To help reset your body clock, try to stay
awake until bedtime rather than taking a nap upon arrival - spending
time outdoors seems to help most travelers.
you travel, experiment to find the system that works best for you. Some
travelers forswear all naps, others insist on them. Keeping note of
your experiences will help you get the most from future trips. Consult
with fellow travelers, too. Their experiences can help you avoid days
lost to jet lag discomfort.