What is Jet Lag?
Jet lag is what you suffer if you travel over a number of time zones. The effects are only short term, usually it takes one day to recover for every time zone you have crossed, although each day your jet lag gets a little less.
Jet lag can cause you to be awake when everyone else is sleeping, but also you can suffer disorientation and G.I upsets.
When you leave one time zone and go to another, your body is expecting a certain change of night and day, but gets a different pattern of dark and light. It is this change that produces the hormone melatonin and when it is disrupted you get jet lag.
There are a number of things that you can do to reduce the effects of jet lag, and I have listed some of the common ones below.
Change your sleeping times before you go
Just before you leave, if you are traveling east, go to bed and get up a little earlier. If you are traveling west, go to bed and get up a little later.
Plan your trip well
Plan to arrive mid or late afternoon, then it won’t be as difficult to stay up until bedtime as if you arrive first thing in the morning.
As you leave, set your watch
When the plane takes off, set your watch to the time at your destination. During the flight keep reminding yourself of the time, then you will be more used to it when you finally arrive.
Drink lots of water and don’t drink alcohol or coffee, that way you will stay well hydrated.
Take small naps
People who sleep more than once every 24 hours will suffer less effects of jet lag.
You can take homeopathic medicines to reduce jet lag. You take one tablet throughout the flight, they are called No Jet Lag or Jet Zone. You can buy them from Whole Foods.
Walk around the cabin
Get up and walk about the cabin while you are in flight and you will be healthier during and after the flight. Your body needs the blood to circulate properly and you can help it by taking frequent short walks.
Don’t be tense, try and relax. Music is a good relaxant. Sometimes they have a music or a relaxation channel, or take your own on an iPod or personal stereo.
When you arrive, stay awake until bedtime
When you arrive try not to have a cat nap. If you can stay awake until bedtime you will have a better chance of sleeping through the night.
Using melatonin and coffee
You can take melatonin to help you get to sleep at night and coffee to help you stay awake during the day. Don’t have coffee after 4pm, or you won’t sleep at night.
Stay outside as much as possible
Exposing yourself to natural light is the best way to acclimatize yourself to the local time. Spend as much time as you can outside.
Don’t use electronics during the night
If you can’t sleep, don’t switch on your laptop of iPod as the light from them will wake you up more. If you really can’t sleep the best thing you can do is read as that will make you more tired.
Jet Lag is Temporary
Jet lag is a huge inconvenience, but it only lasts for a few days and you will quickly feel yourself again.