How To Get Over Jet Lag

by marciag

Learning how to get over jet lag is easy if you know a few tips that will help your body reset its clock and adjust easily to the new timezone.

What Is Jet Lag?

Before we learn how to get over jetlag, I think it's important to first understand what exactly is that we're dealing with. What is jet lag?

In medical terms, jet lag is called desynchronosis. It is a state of the body whereby the circadian rhythms have been altered. Jet lag usually happens when you're traveling fast (usually on a plane) across at least two or more different time zones - within a single day. This confuses the body clock and desynchronizes it, which gives you all the known symptoms of jet lag especially if you can't realign your circadian sleeping rhythms fast.

Some Of The Common Symptoms Of Jet Lag

When you've traveled over several time zones within the same day, you will pretty much be suffering from jet lag. But what are the main symptoms that you will have to deal with? If you know that you'll be traveling long distance soon, it's good to know all about what you will be dealing with.

Headaches - This is a most common symptoms of jet lag. A splitting headache or a start of a migraine is usually the first sign that you are suffering from jetlag.

Insomnia and lack of sleep - Because your sleep cycles have been mixed up, you won't be able to sleep soon. In fact you'll find adjusting to the new time zone quite a chore. You'll most likely sleep during the day and stay awake during the night, following the time patterns from back home.

Either constipation or diarheea - In most cases one of the two will be likely to happen. It is not fully known yet why, but it is bound to happen for most jet lag travelers

Disorientation - A feeling of lack of orientation can often accompany jet lag.

Useful Books On Jet Lag And Its Effects On The Body

Jet Lag Relief: It's About Time

Jet Lag Relief: It's About 'Time', by Daryal Mark. This much needed travel resource captures in clear, easy to read, easy to follow language the most up to date research, ...

Only $16.5
The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search for Home

From the acclaimed author of Video Nights in Kathmandu comes this intriguing new book that deciphers the cultural ramifications of globalization and the rising tide of ...

$13.72  $10.94
Lag: A Look at Circadian Desynchronization

Bill Ragan said that circadian desynchronization was one of the causes of several aircraft accidents over the years. While the exact cause of these accidents was hard to ...

$9.99  $11.99
No More Jet Lag

No More Jet Lag is about jet lag and (air) travel induced anxiety. Jet lag is not a minor discomfort. It's a health issue. That's why this book demystifies modern air travel, ...

Only $9.5
The Living Clock: The Orchestrator of Biological Rhythms

From one-celled paramecium to giant blue whales, we all have internal clocks that regulate the rhythms we live by. In The Living Clock, John Palmer, one of the world's leading ...

$30.92  $21.98

How To Get Over Jet Lag - Minimizing The Symptoms

While jet lag is nothing really serious and most of us go through it at some point in our lives, due to globalization, which makes recurrent traveling to far places a necessity, there are a couple of things that you can do to minimize the effects of jet lag. Getting over jet lag fast can be done.

  • While it's not always feasible, sometimes you can look around for convenient travel schedules that will give you some extra time before your business meeting or program at the new place.
  • If you know well in advance when you are going to travel, you can start readjusting your sleep schedule (if you can, of course) so that the impact will be minimized when you're actually traveling.
  • Avoid drinking any alcohol, fizzy drinks or coffee, to keep your body properly hydrated (all these stimulate water loss by urine production).
  • Try to drink water and fruit juices instead.
  • Increase your head, neck, shoulder and back comfort on the flight by using one of the best travel pillow for airplanes (personally I love TravelRest)
  • If you can, break your trip into smaller parts with overnight stay in between.
  • Get plenty of exercise before your flight, eat well and have pelnty of rest.
  • Try to move around on the plane, and do some stretching exercises at the back of the plane. Go a few times along the isle every few hours if possible. Don't let your body become stiff and sore.
  • Wear comfy clothes and shoes on the plane.
  • Try to adapt to the new place as soon as possible. If you get there during lunch time, then eat lunch instead of breakfast, dinner, or instead of going to sleep as you'd usually do at home at that specific time. If you land during the day, go out and enjoy the sun. Don't go to sleep just because back at home it's night time.
  • Take melatonin. Synthetic melatonin is said to help people who travel restore their regular sleeping patterns. A study reported in Tte British Medical Journal in 1989 confirmed these findings. Melatonin helps reduce the time jet lag has hold over your body.
  • If you are on any medication or you are suffering from diabetes, a heart condition or other serious healh problems, it is advised that you consult your doctor prior to your trip to discuss how to take the medicine and what to do when you've landed in terms of continuing your current treatment at the new location.
Updated: 11/11/2011, marciag
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Lissie on 11/27/2011

the latest trick I learnt was - don't eat at all on the flight - eat before you leave and eat when you arrive -whichever meal is appropriate. Still drink lots of fluids of course! It seemed to work for me on my last trip so I'll do it again!

emmalarkins on 11/11/2011

Great suggestions for the frequent traveler!

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