Flying across several time zones, your body can’t quite believe it’s time for sleep. You are also coming to the realization that come tomorrow after the already stressful travel time, you’ll probably feel crabby, head-achy, and exhausted. Not to mention having the attention span of a four year old.
Should you take a sleeping pill? Probably not since sleeping pills tend to cause hangovers and a dose of leftover grogginess.
To combat the effects of jet lag you have to deal first with one of the main causes which is the disruption of the body’s internal clock. This internal clock regulates the body’s sleep wake cycle. The following are some non drug tips and tricks to help alleviate symptoms of jet lag.
Let the sun reset your internal clock. Tiny groups of cells in your brain are set by exposure to bright light. So if you find yourself traveling from east to west, getting a dose of light in the evening is recommended. The easiest way to accomplish this is to take a stroll outside for about an hour which will help in delaying your wake sleep cycle allowing you to go to bed. If you find your travel takes you from west to east, take that hourly stroll in the morning. This will help shift your body to an earlier bedtime.
Taking a small amount of the natural hormone melatonin can help reset your sleep cycle as well since melatonin helps one get into that deep sleep stage faster. It is recommended that you start taking it a day prior to your travels.
Use food to help the body adapt to a new climate. A week to three days before your travel plans start to consume some of the foods you’d find at your destination site. Eating this way helps your system adapt quicker and lessens the symptoms of jet lag. Remember to prepare the same way for your return trip, eating as you would at home
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Dehydration can be the cause for many of the symptoms of jet lag. Since the air on an airplane can be very dry it’s wise to drink about 32 ounces of water for every six hours of travel time. Additionally, staying away from alcohol and coffee is your best bet since these are diuretics that tend to flush water out of your system.
Lastly, try a homeopathic remedy. After hours of sitting in a cramped airplane seat your body may feel stiff and achy. Taking a homeopathic remedy such as Arnica can help alleviate those symptoms. It’s best to begin a day before your flight and continue using until the day after.
The Jet Lag Cure, Ehret , Charles F. ,Warrenburg, Kris, Scanlon, Lynne Waller,
Back2press Books 2009