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Traveling Tips: How to Fight Jet lag

Updated on February 9, 2010
How to prevent jetlag, adrienne
How to prevent jetlag, adrienne

Jetlag, also medically known as"desynchronosis", can potentially put a dent in the travel plans of tourists and business people flying across several time zones. Indeed, jetlag can easily disrupt the circadian rhythms of travelers causing a multitude of symptoms that may negatively affect the traveler's business performance or leisurely plans. Beating jetlag therefore is something of primary importance, yet knowledge is power and only by knowing what jetlag is and how it can be prevented from occurring in the first place, is ultimately key to keeping this annoying condition at bay.

What is Jetlag?

Jetlag is physical condition affecting mainly travelers heading east or west by means of fast transportation (as by jet, hence its name). The condition arises when the circadian rhythms are upset. The internal body clock of travelers therefore has difficulty adjusting to new time zones and causes a variety of symptoms linked to the fact of experiencing new eating and sleeping patterns, different rhythms causing body temperature variations and changes in hormonal  regulations. 

Curiously, this condition is not dictated by the length of the flight but rather by the direction of travel. It appears therefore that jetlag occurs only in trans-meridian distances (east-west or west-east) rather than in north to south or south to north flights. Traveling from Italy to South Africa, therefore would not produce symptoms of jetlag since this means traveling primarily from north to south.

Symptoms suggesting jetlag are easy to recognize. The body will feel out of sync and travelers will often feel disoriented, groggy, and slightly irritable. Digestive problems, insomnia, headache and fatigue are other common symptoms. The intensity of such symptoms varies from one individual to another, therefore it may take several days for some to feel better, while others may hardly feel '' jetlagged'' at all.

JetZone Jet Lag Prevention, Homeopathic OTC Travel Medicine, 30 Chewable Tablets(Jet Lag Pills) - 48 Hours Flying Time
JetZone Jet Lag Prevention, Homeopathic OTC Travel Medicine, 30 Chewable Tablets(Jet Lag Pills) - 48 Hours Flying Time

A homeopathic combination for the temporary relief of the disruptions in circadian rhythms and fatigue associated with jet lag from flying and the symptoms of insomnia, exhaustion, irritability and anxiety.


How to Prevent Jetlag?

Jetlag can be prevented, or at least reduced, by attempting to adjust as best as possible to the new time zones. Afternoon naps are not recommended and nor is eating when hungry. Rather, trying to eat and sleep respecting the new time zone is the best approach even if it may be challenging at first.

According to an article by Sports Medicine Advisor published on the University of Michigan website, it helps to try to go to bed earlier than usual if planning to fly east and later than usual if planning to fly west. Drinking plenty of fluids while flying and eating a high-protein, low-calorie diet before, after and during the journey may be helpful as well. Exposure to sunlight may help speed up recovery times.

How to Beat Jetlag?


Several travelers have benefited from using melatonin to help their bodies adjust fairly quickly. Melatonin is a natural remedy consisting of a special hormone whose main job is controlling the body's circadian rhythms. Travelers interested in trying melatonin for their next long haul trip should consult their general practitioner for advice on when to start taking melatonin, for how long and how much.

• Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathy may be helpful for cases of jetlag. Most homeopathic remedies come in easy to administer pellets found in a small vial. Forjetlag, one common homeopathic remedy is ''No jetlag''. This product should be taken as suggested by the label. As with any homeopathic remedies, it is important not to come in contact with the tiny pellets.


Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a natural remedy for those individuals affected by sleeping disorders. For a calm, relaxed night of sleep wished by many people suffering from jetlag, this herb may be the ultimate solution. This herb can be seeped and used as a tea, or it may be found already in capsules, tablets or liquid forms.

Argonne Jetlag Diet

This diet was developed by Dr. Charles F. Ehret of Argonne's Division of Biological and Medical research. It consists of periods of feasting and fasting in order to allow the traveler's internal biological clocks to rapidly adjust to new time zones. It is also helpful for power plant personnel or other workers that have rotating time shifts an have difficulty adjusting. The Argonne Jetlag diet details must be followed carefully to grant success.


This article is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for medical advice. For advice on jetlag remedies always consult with your medical practitioner first.


"Sports Medicine Advisor 2005.4: Jet Lag". Retrieved Feb 9th, 2010.

' Argonne Jetlag diet''. Retrieved on Feb 9th, 2010.


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    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 7 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Wow, what a cool hub, I had no idea that is was based on direction. Thanks for sharing, great hub.