Jet Lag Symptom, How to Avoid It & Natural Cure and Remedy
What is Jet Lag?
A simple definition of Jet Lag is the disruption of our body clock, which causes difficulty to fall asleep or waking up when we fly on long haul flights and crosses several time zones.
This is because our body finds it difficult to adjust to the new time zone of our destination. Back home it could be lunchtime and at the new destination, it is bedtime!
Flying West to East
The more time zones we cross the more severe our jet lag problem could be. It is more severe when we fly eastward, as we are going further away from our natural body cycle (which shortens our day, hence we “lose time”. When we fly westward, the day lengthens, hence we “gain time”).
Jet Lag Symptoms
Jet lag can make you lethargic, feel drowsy, loss of appetite and even diarrhea or constipation.
How to Avoid Jet Lag - Jet lag Prevention
They say that prevention is better than cure. So before we look at how to cure jet lag, let us look at the following guides on how to manage and reduce the effects of jet lag.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Sitting in an aircraft cabin can be uncomfortable. Wear comfortable and loose clothes that will not restrict movement. This will not only help with our blood circulation but also allow us to get the necessary rest and sleep.
Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, Coke and Sodas with Caffeine
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they fly is to drink alcohol. It is FREE and on some airlines, it is free flowing. Alcohol dehydrates our body and at high altitude, this gets even worse. It will even worsen any symptoms of jet lag.
Likewise, coffee, tea and all the sodas with caffeine will also dehydrate our body. Avoid these drinks not just during the flight, but even the night before the flight. Drink herbal tea or fruit juice, if necessary.
However, the best beverage to drink when flying, especially on long haul, is to drink lots of water.
We can also minimize dehydration by applying moisturizing cream on our face and body. Reapply when necessary. Some airlines even have mineral water mist that can be applied to the face. Mineral water has a better hydrating effect on the skin, as compared to ordinary tap water.
Limit Food Intake
During flight, try not to eat at all; just drink water. If this is tough, then eat less or eat fruits instead. If necessary, pack and bring some of the fruits, for the flight.
Move around the cabin as this will exercise our leg and will keep the blood circulation moving. It is known to help with jet lag.
Prepare Our Mind
Prepare for the destination by setting the watch to the new time. If scheduled to arrive at night, stay awake by watching all the inflight entertainment programs or read books. If scheduled to arrive in the morning, then sleep on the plane. Wearing an eye mask will help us to sleep, better.
Jet-Lag Natural Cures and Remedies
If after following the above guidelines, you are still jet-lagged, try the following remedies. However every individual will experience different levels of severity and there is no one remedy that will work for all. So try them all, just to be sure, in order to recover from jet-lag, faster.
Also, remember that jet-lag is not a health problem and symptoms of jet-lag are usually temporary. So don't be too overly worried. However, it does take away some of our valuable and productive time, especially when we are abroad on business or even on vacation
I have not included the use of chemical or herbal remedies, as recommendations for jet lag cure. They have not been tested and approved by any official agencies yet. Therefore it's best not to use them, as there are reports of bad experiences by some users.
The following remedies are natural remedies, which worked for most people.
Exposure to sunlight or even room lights can help with jet lag. If arriving during the daytime, take a walk around the hotel blocks and enjoy the sunshine. If arriving at night, then the room lights or better still, the bright lights in the hotel lobby will also work. Researchers at Queen Mary College, University of London concluded that changes in light as well as body heat could help minimize jet lag.
Fasting is supposed to help us overcome changes to the time zone/body clock syndrome. So if jetlagged, don't take any food, except for water, for the rest of the day, until breakfast the next day. If required, have a light meal or fruits for dinner.
No Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, Coke or Sodas with Caffeine
Yes, none of the above drinks please, not until after breakfast the next day. Drink just plain water.
Bedtime and Short Nap
At the new destination, follow the normal bedtime routine as much as possible. This will help the body to readjust itself easily.
Taking a short nap in between schedules, will also be beneficial, to help us recover faster.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil has been used for asthma, bronchitis and lately, for jet lag. To use, you can either place a drop on your wrist, handkerchief or pillow, or inhale to soothe the discomfort associated with your jet lag.
Tip from Orlando Bloom on How to Avoid Jet Lag
His tips: Avoid alcohol during flight, but drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration AND hit the hotel gym on arrival!
Exercise to Shrug Off Jet Lag
Studies by researchers at Northwestern University and University of California in the USA show that if you exercise (go to the hotel swimming pool or the hotel gym); the changes in the protein that regulate the circadian rhythms will help you adjust to the different time zone faster. So, before you unpack, hit the gym or the pool!
See a Doctor
Finally, if the above still doesn't work and the jet-lag effect is giving more problems than it should be, see a doctor for advice.
Don't Let Jet Lag Spoils the Trip - Apply the Above Jet lag Tips
It is not often that we get to travel and for some of us, we get only so few numbers of annual leave. So do not waste these important and valued days recovering from your jet lag.
Stay calm and enjoy the flight.
Jet lag last night was like bad shrooms. When my dad asked what that meant I told him its like being in a musical you don't want to be in ~ Lady Gaga
© 2012 Mazlan
More by this Author
Before traveling overseas read how to pack, things to do before traveling, how to manage jet lag and things you shouldn't do at your travel destination
Buy food on Airasia in advance for better discount & choice. Air Asia meal varieties are many & can get you confused. This review will help pick the right in-flight meal menu for you
Do plants like music? It's a controversial topic: Studies have supported the claim that music can result in better growth, but many disagree with those findings. Hear both sides & decide for yourself.