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Overcoming Jet Lag 

Our internal body clock is regulated by circadian rhythms that respond to daily cycles of light and dark. When we travel over time zones, these abrupt changes confuse the body clock and cause the symptoms known as jet lag.

The ill effects of jet lag can include fatigue, grogginess, irritability, upset stomach, headache, disturbed sleep patterns, swollen limbs, dehydration and lack of concentration. Symptoms seem to be worse when crossing three or more time zones and when flying east. Also adults on fixed daily routines seem to suffer more from jet lag than those who can readily adjust to changes. The following simple strategies can go a long way to reducing the side effects and discomfort of jet lag, while in flight and upon arrival at your destination:

  • Drink plenty of water beforehand as dry cabin air can cause headaches, dry skin, nasal irritation and dehydration
  • Try to get a good night's sleep. Stress and anxiety can cause headaches, upset stomach and disturb sleep patterns
On Board
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine in coffee, tea and soft drinks
  • Use an eye mask, ear plugs and an inflated neck pillow to help induce sleep
  • To stay awake, eat a high protein meal of meat and vegetables
  • To sleep or nap, eat a high-carbohydrate meal with rice, bread, pasta or noodles
  • Remove your shoes to minimize swelling and wear loose, comfortable clothing
At your Destination
  • Set your watch to your destination's time zone
  • Adjust meals and sleep time to the local time. If necessary, take a brief nap of no more than two hours
  • Take a walk outside. Sunlight and exercise help reset your natural circadian rhythms