How to overcome Jetlag
by Sarah Moore
Jetlag seems to be every traveler’s worst nightmare – especially if you’re going away for just a short while.
What causes Jetlag?
Jetlag is a condition that arises from crossing multiple time zones in a relatively short time and consequently disturbs your natural body clock or circadian rhythms. Other contributing factors include lack of exercise, dry atmosphere and alcohol.
What are the symptoms of Jetlag?
Arriving at your destination feeling tried, groggy and disorientated are the most common symptoms. Many people also find it difficult to concentrate and have very erratic sleep patterns. Waking up in the middle of the night or feeling a need to take a nap during the day can be frequent.
Because of the dry atmosphere aboard aircrafts, dehydration can also be a major problem.
How long do the symptoms last for?
Jetlag symptoms can last for just a few hours – all the way up to a week (for more acute cases). Generally though, travelers find on a normal flight between the US and Europe, the effects of jetlag last for a couple of days. As a guide, for every time zone you cross, allow for a full day of recovery. Symptoms also vary by age. Children are far less susceptible.
How can Jetlag symptoms be reduced?
Before you depart, make sure that you get plenty of sleep. Eat well and avoid alcohol. Allow for plenty of time before departure. Stress is one of the worst culprits. Also, try taking some zinc supplements as it’s been proven that people with higher zinc levels tend to suffer less.
While traveling, drink plenty of water. Stay away from alcohol, fizzy drinks and coffee. These drinks only exacerbate jetlag causing dehydration, tiredness and headaches. Drink plenty of water. Chamomile tea is very calming. Eat Lightly. The last thing your body needs is to digest a large meal. Exercise - “Economy Class Syndrome” is caused from inactivity or sitting in the same position for an extended time. When the time permits, get up and walk around the aircraft.
Specific exercises and stretching techniques can be accessed through:
Try and get some sleep. Sleeping onboard will not only help to pass the time, but can help you feel refreshed upon arrival. A travel neck pillow will assist in your sleeping, providing excellent head support. Avoid sleeping pills at all costs.
When you arrive, getting a quick nap will seem very attractive indeed – but resist this temptation. Go to bed at your normal bedtime (based on local time). This will force your body to adjust to any new time zones far quicker.
About the Author
Sarah Moore has been in the travel and tourism industry for over 20 years and is currently working with one of the worlds largest coach networks. Sarah is also the webmaster of TravelJ - A Traveler's Resources & Information Network - http://www.travelj.com