Thu, January 28th, 2010 - By

How to avoid jet lag

Jet lag is caused by the disruption to your natural ‘body clock’ particularly when you are flying long distances over several time zones.  It occurs because your body finds it difficult to adjust to your new time zone and can disturb your sleep pattern, leaving you felling lethargic and lacking in energy.

Your body clock is used to following a regular rhythm of daylight and darkness, so that you feel hungry in the morning and sleepy in the evening, and is thrown out of sync when it experiences daylight and darkness at the wrong times.

When you travel across time zones, your body needs time to adjust to a new daily routine, here are a few tips to help minimise the effect of jet lag:

  • Change your sleep routine a few days before you are due to travel, for those travelling east try going to bed an hour earlier and those going west should try an hour later.
  • Avoid being overtired before travelling, as this can make jet lag worse.
  • Stay as calm and relaxed as possible before and during your journey as being stressed can also make jet lag worse.
  • Make sure you drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids during your flight to avoid dehydration. Alcohol can make symptoms of jet lag worse.
  • Keep active if you are flying long distances, try walking around the cabin occasionally, and regularly stretch your arms and legs whilst in your seat. Get off the plane if possible at stopovers, stretch and take a walk.
  • Once you’ve boarded your flight change your watch to the time of your destination, this will help you to adjust more quickly to your new time zone. If its night time at your destination during your flight try and get some sleep, I know it can be hard, ear plugs, eye masks or blow-up pillows and neck-rests can all help.
  • During extended stopovers, showers are sometimes available, taking a shower will help freshen you up as well as getting the muscles and circulation going again so you’re ready for the next leg of your journey.
  • On arrival at your destination try eating meals and sleeping at the correct times of your new time zone. If you arrive during the day try not to nap and try and stay active till the correct time for you to sleep. This will help your body adjust more quickly.

Posted : Thursday, January 28th, 2010 at 08:43
Category : How To...
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