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Jet Lag - What is jet lag and how do you alleviate jet lag

Updated on May 3, 2012

How did I find out this information?

I have been reading scientific studies regarding jet lag and have found that there are a few things that can help you to lessen the effects of jet lag drastically on any long hauls you take.

I have also recently watched a show on T.V in which two race car drivers who often had to fly from England to the U.S.A and race the next morning had a scientist help one of them to overcome the effects of jet lag. The two drivers had their reflexes tested the day before flying to a race and then the morning of the race which was the day after they arrived they were tested again. The driver, who had the help of the scientist scored almost the same on the test both times showing that his reflexes were still nearly normal. However the other driver who was probably still suffering from jet lag scored quite a bit lower on this test result than at his first test.

Also just recently I have watched a news story which was written partially due to low levels of leaking radiation in Japan. The news story stated that every time we fly in any airplane we are in fact exposed to a constant low level of radiation during the entire flight. I must admit to have being unaware of this fact until I watched it on the news.

What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag is basically your body’s inability to cope with the sudden time changes that occur when we fly from one place to another. The longer the flight and the larger the time change the greater the stresses we place upon our bodies. The greater the stresses the longer it takes for our bodies to attune themselves to our environment.

The air pressures of the airplane that are exerted upon our bodies is also greater for long haul flights as the airplanes flight path is a lot higher and lasts a lot longer than on shorter flights.

It is also a well-known fact that we are exposed to low levels of radiation every time we fly in any airplane. Scientific data suggests that low levels of radiation can and do cause lethargy, fatigue and weakness. It is interesting to note that these very symptoms are exactly the same for jet lag as they are for low level radiation illness.

Also depending on where we land the air pressures, levels of oxygen and the gravitational pull of the Earth will be different depending upon the longitude and latitude of where we have landed than those exerted upon our bodies before boarding the flight.

All of these things and a few others place our bodies into an extreme state of stress which can, depending upon the individual and one’s overall health can take up to a week to recover from.

How do you stop Jet lag?

Many people when they arrive at the airport before taking a long haul flight will spend a couple of hours with their families or friends and have an enjoyable meal with them before boarding their flight.

The first thing to do to alleviate jet lag is in fact to not eat anything for at least three hours before boarding your plane and to only drink water during this time period as well.

During the long haul flight you also need to eat nothing and only drink water. You can however thankfully sleep as much as you wish to, which is probably a good way to keep your mind off the fact that you’re not allowed to eat anything. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated by drinking enough water during your flight. The fact is that you will need to decide whether going without food for this long is something that you feel is worth getting rid of your jet lag for.

Once you step off the plane you can finally eat something. However please take note!!

If you arrive at breakfast time you need to eat a normal breakfast.

If you arrive at lunch time you need to eat protein for lunch – fish is best but you can have shell fish, eggs, steak, chicken or Tofu. You can have a salad or vegetables with this. Do not eat carbohydrates.

If you arrive at tea time you need to eat carbohydrates – kumara, dumplings, bread or potatoes (chips) are best. Do not eat proteins for this meal. You can have a salad or vegetables with this.

Follow the above choices for your remaining meals this day.

Go to bed at the normal time.

Why proteins and carbohydrates?

Proteins will make you more alert so this is why they are used for lunch on the day of your arrival.

Carbohydrates will make you sleepy so having these for tea is a good idea on the first day of arrival.

Once you wake up the next morning your body clock should have been reset if you follow these simple steps and you should feel refreshed and able to take on anything. It seems that it is as simple as that to reset your body clock fast and with as little stress to your body as possible.

A little extra Information.

I hope that this information will help to minimise the effects of jet lag. Until airplanes are created that can self-alter the cabin pressures and nullify the radiation that people are exposed to on long haul flights I personally believe that the above is at this time the most effective way to quickly get over jet lag.

It would however also be interesting to find out if taking a pill to stop radiation entering our bodies would affect whether or not we ended up with jet lag at the end of a long haul flight. It also appears that those who suffer from motion sickness are scientifically a lot more susceptible to radiation and therefore this could be part of the reason that some people recover faster from jet lag than others. Another factor could be how much iodine one has present in our systems as radiation tends to fill this deficiency. This I believe could be an interesting scientific test for someone to trial.

If anyone does try this could they please let me know if the radiation pill helps at all with the jet lag even if you eat and drink normally aboard the flight. If it does then jet lag may be more the cause of the low level radiation illness and less the cause of the other stressors listed above.

I do hope that you all found this to be a little helpful and hopefully interesting. I wish everyone a wonderful jet lag free flight.


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    • Lyn.Stewart profile image

      Lyn.Stewart 6 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand

      Thank you everyone for the comments ... some of them definately had me giggling.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      A very Interesting and Informative Hub Lyn. We haven't flown in a few years, we actually drove to Florida...had 4 months worth of clothing to take. Anyway, you have been very Helpful and given us quite an insight on the subject of "Jet lag" Thank you!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      What a wonderful Hub, on the pros and cons of Jet Lag. I'm not sure I'd want to take a pill, but your other suggestions are worth the try. You've really covered all the areas know to man and yes, I did find it all very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      This sounds like a plan worth trying. We son flies internationally quit frequently and I am going to share your method with with him. Thanks.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I love this Hub. I used to fly a lot and studied this very subject. I hope many people find and benefit from your informative article.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      I have a great cure for jet lag. Don't fly! I have always enjoyed flying until the TSA started groping and radiating people. So, until they come to their senses, it's no flying for me.