Jet Lag - You Can Suffer From It...Or You Can Do What This International Airline Captain Does
Whatever the reason for your travel, you have made a considerable investment. It costs you time and money. If you're stuck in a hotel room suffering from jet lag symptoms, you're missing out.
Obviously, you'd like to make the most of your trip. You will get the greatest return on your investment if you're out of your hotel room enjoying your destination. I can help you achieve this.
"What Is Jet Lag?"
In simple terms, jet lag is the disruption of your body's internal clock, or circadian rhythm. This clock sets your sleeping and waking times. It is complex and sensitive. Flying east or west messes it up. That's because you cross time zones much faster than your body can adjust.
What are common jet lag symptoms? They include:
* Impaired Coordination
Obviously, these things could ruin your trip. Following these guidelines will reduce your jet lag symptoms and let you enjoy your trip even more.
I'll break this discussion into three sections:
* Before Your Trip
* During Your Flight
* At Your Destination
A. Help Prevent Jet Lag Before You Leave Home
1. Get Plenty Of Sleep. NASA found that getting as much sleep as possible beginning two days before your trip is significant in minimizing jet lag symptoms.
2. Reduce Your Stress. All that running around can make you more stressed.
3. Exercise. If you exercise regularly, make it a priority to keep that routine just before you travel. Also, continue it at your destination.
B. Things You Can Do During Your Flight To Reduce Jet Lag
1. Arrive Early At The Airport. Not rushing to make your flight will help reduce stress and make you more relaxed. That way you'll rest better on the plane.
2. Begin Adjusting To The New Time Zone And Schedule. When you get on the plane, set your watch to your destination's time. Then think about when you'll eat and sleep there. Try to begin eating and sleeping at those times.
3. Sleep As Much As You Can On the Plane. This is a key factor in reducing jet lag.
4. Wear Comfortable clothing. Comfortable clothes, warm socks and a sweater will enable you to sleep better.
5. Drink Plenty of Water. Not soda, not alcohol, not caffeine, but water.
6. Get Up and Stretch Frequently.
7. Use a Footrest. If you're tall, it takes strain off of your lower back. If you're not so tall (or a child), and if your feet don't touch the floor, this helps prevent cramps behind your thighs.
8. Loosen Your Shoes to get some extra circulation to your feet.
9. Avoid Pills and Supplements. There was a study reported in England's Lancet Medical Journal. It blamed 18% of deaths during long-haul flights from blood clots in the lungs. Sleeping pills cause you to sleep without any body movement. This reduces your circulation and increases the chance of blood clotting.
C. Adjusting At Your Destination
1. Try To Eat On The New Schedule. This helps your body clock adjust to minimize your jet lag symptoms.
2. Try To Sleep On The New Schedule.
3.Exercise. This is also among the important jet lag remedies. If you have a regular exercise routine, you'll want to continue it now.
4. Get out in the Sunlight. This is simple to accomplish as long as you have a sunny day.
Studies have shown that exposure to bright light helps shift the circadian rhythms (body clock), and therefore reduce the jet lag symptoms.
That's just a brief overview. I highly recommend that you read my complete jet lag article before you go on your next long trip. You can find it on my web site.
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Thanks and have a great trip!
Pilot Paul M.