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Flying long distances over several time zones can be very hard on your body, disrupting your internal clock, and resulting in a condition known as Jet Lag.
Travelers with Jet Lag can suffer from a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, headache, anxiety, indigestion, disorientation, cold like symptoms, and irregular bowels. All of which are guaranteed to put a damper on the first few days of a trip.
The general rule is that a human body takes about one day to recover for each time zone crossed. Since most travelers do not want to waste any valuable vacation time on Jet Lag recovery, there are a few things that they can do to help diminish the effects Jet Lag.
- Several days prior to travel, slowly adjust your sleep schedule to match the time zone you will be traveling to so there is less of a transition.
- Hydrate before traveling, and be sure to drink plenty of water while on the plane. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, because these will only dehydrate you.
- During the flight, try to stretch and move around frequently. Some flights have a short video at the beginning of the flight that shows how to stretch and get the blood moving a little while sitting in your seat.
- Try to avoid flying over night. Overnight flights are more likely to disrupt regular sleep patterns and can make it harder to recover.
- Bring along anything that will help you sleep better on the plane. Comfortable clothing, pillows, blindfolds, neck rests, earplugs, and headphones are some tools that can make it easier to sleep.
- Many suggest that diet can have a lot to do with Jet Lag. There are Anti-Jet Lag diets that follow detailed regimens that have worked for some.
- Some people take sleep aids to fall asleep on planes, however most health professionals suggest avoiding this. Sleep aids can help you fall asleep, but you won't necessarily stay asleep. Instead travelers awake feeling groggy and disoriented.
- Medicines like Melatonin and No-Jet-Lag claim to fight Jet Lag, however there is no solid research to support this.