Jet Lag Prevention
Cause of Jet Lag
depends on the number of time zones crossed rather than the length of
the flight. The body clock gets out of sync with destination time, leading
to disorientation, disturbed sleep, irritation, dizziness and general
depression. It's especially bad when flying east.
Prevention and Cures for Jet Lag
According to BBC research the very best way to avoid jet lag is to not eat at all during your flight. Then, on arrival, eat your first meal at the appropriate time for a meal according to local time. Your body clock will consequently be re-booted to local time! Of course the downside is you miss out on all that delicious airline food (hah!).
Eat a light meal containing plenty of carbohydrates and greens before travelling.
Try to get a flight with no/few stops as the changing cabin pressure exacerbates jet lag and stopovers will interrupt your rest.
* Set your watch to destination time as soon as you board the plane.
* Try to sleep, or at least rest, when destination time is night (bring/use ear plugs and an eye mask), and stay awake if it's daytime. This means on the plane and on the ground when you arrive. No long siestas!
* Eat meals according to destination timing. If you need to sleep according to destination time then choose carbohydrates, if staying awake go for proteins and avoid the carbs. Eat lightly. Drink lots of water.
* Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, as these maintain departure body time. OK, OK, have one beer or Bloody Mary on takeoff if you insist, but that's it. Drink lots of water as dehydration lowers your general health barriers to in-flight bugs, in addition to inhibiting body clock resetting.
Get some exercise on the plane. This helps not only with jet lag but other health factors too, such as DVT.
Press a pen point on the underside of your big toes during the flight. This apparently stimulates appropriate acupressure points.
This requires some effort but definitely helps diminish lag and permits better functioning sooner, especially important if your foreign stay is short.
Find out how many hours ahead/behind your destination time is. If the place is a few hours behind your home time then start to stay up later than usual a few days before the flight, and get up later too. If it's ahead of home time then start going to bed earlier and of course get up earlier. Try this for at least an hour per day for three days before the flight. This system really works.
* Get out in the daylight when you arrive and for the first few days, preferably without sunglasses. Let the body know it's in a new place. Walk/exercise. If you need to trigger sleep hormones start wearing dark glasses early and/or keep your room dark. This will encourage your body clock to make the change.
* Do not consume caffeine for up to 10 hours before bedtime and no alcohol 2 hours before.
is available over the counter in USA and other countries, but not
even on prescription in UK, so get it elsewhere (like Ireland, Guernsey
or many other countries).
Seratonin 5HTP is an alternative to Melatonin and should be taken from a week before the flight, as it needs time to take effect.
Arnica is a homeopathic remedy for jet lag.
Aspirin: a very small dose of a blood-thinning agent such as aspirin taken for three days (before, during and one day after the flight) would not only partially counteract AMS symptoms, but also help with potential DVT, but check with a doctor on the advisability of this in your case.
Modafinil is a prescription stimulant that may help perk you up if speed is of the essence.
is another possible factor causing body dysfunction, at least in some cases, Acute Mountain Sickness.