How to Overcome Jet Lag

by Royal City Travel Guelph -

Who wants to deal with the groggy, foggy slow-motion sensation that is Jet Lag while traveling abroad? Unfortunately, the farther we explore the more likely we are to experience jet lag's symptoms and thus lose precious globe-trotting time recovering. It can take up to three or four days to overcome jet lag naturally. Here are some tips to neutralize some of jet lag's effects quickly and effectively.

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Begin to reset your internal clock several days before you leave. 
Make sure the days leading up to your trip you get a quality night’s sleep. If you’re traveling east, start to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier; if you’re headed west, go to bed later and try to wake up later. Flying east is trickier because as the human body cycle is actually slightly longer than 24 hours, it’s more difficult to shift your body clock earlier. Traveling west you can expect 30%-50% less recovery time.

Reset your watch to the time of your destination. 
As you board your plane, get on local destination time. If it will be nighttime when you arrive, stay awake on your flight. If you’re arriving during the day, try to get some sleep on the plane. Bring earplugs and an eye mask. Power through Day One of your trip.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol. They will mess with your sleep cycle.

Instead, drink plenty of water. Water will keep you hydrated and healthy on long flights and help keep your head clear and free from headaches.

Also take vitamins like Vitamin C to boost your immune system and B vitamins for more energy.

Stretch. Keep your body limber to improve circulation and prevent muscles from stiffening. Stretching also offsets fatigue.

Get in the sun! The sun’s rays will wake you up and keep you alert.

If you’re going on a short trip - a business meeting or weekend vacation - don’t bother. You’re not going to catch up in time so just enjoy yourself.

When you arrive, avoid heavy meals and exercise before bed. Eat lightly for a few days.

Inflight sleeping pills. While there is no fool-proof cocktail for maintaining a quality sleep schedule on a plane, many swear by certain sleeping pills such as the hormoneMelatonin and the prescription medications Ambien and Nuvigil. Respectively, the prescriptions knock you out and keep you awake; they don’t cure jet lag but give you more function over your body as it adapts. Melatonin both induces sleep and improves its quality. Talk to your doctor about these options if you think you need them.

Give yourself a day to recover when you get home. If you’re flying back in on a Sunday, don’t make yourself go to work on Monday.

Stay positive! Everyone goes through this and having a good attitude will help you get over jet lag faster.

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