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Tips to Prevent Jet Lag

Tips to Prevent Jet Lag

We have previously written about what jet lag is, the symptoms and how to overcome it. In this article we will discuss tips on how to prevent Jet Lag.

Arrive early. – If you need to preform at your best for an important meeting or event arrive a few days early to adjust to your new timezone. 

Get plenty of rest before your trip.  Get the rest you need before your trip. Set a good sleeping schedule.

Gradually adjust your schedule before you leave. Mayo Clinic states,“If you’re traveling east, try going to bed one hour earlier each night for a few days before your departure. Go to bed one hour later for several nights if you’re flying west. If possible, eat meals closer to the time you’ll be eating them at your destination.”

Stay on your new schedule. Avoid sleeping until night in new area, time meals with local meals and set your watch to the new time zone. Following a schedule can help you reduce the symptoms of Jet Lag.

Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water on the plane and during your adventure. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these can dehydrate you and dehydration can create more severe jet lag symptoms. 

Try to sleep on the plane if it’s nighttime at your destination. If it is daytime in the new location try to avoid sleeping. Though if it is nighttime in your destination try out eye masks and earplugs to block out noise and light to get a nice nap before arriving.

If you try these tips and avoid the symptoms of jet lag please share your experience in the comments below.

Source – MayoClinic.com
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What is Jet Lag?

What is Jet Lag?

In the past we have written articles about how to overcome jet lag which you can read by clicking
Travel and The Body Clock

This article is all about what Jet lag is and what the main symptoms and causes are.

Mayo Clinic defines Jet lag as,”Jet lag, also called jet lag disorder, is a temporary sleep problem that can affect anyone who quickly travels across multiple time zones.”  Our bodies have biological clocks that tell us when to be awake and when to be asleep. Our bodies become accustomed to the timezone in which we live. It adjusts to the sunlight and darkness hours. When we travel to a new timezone our body becomes confused at the new light schedule and sends incorrect melatonin signals which can cause the effects of jet lag.  

There are several side effects of jet lag. The most common symptoms are the following.

  • Daytime fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or functioning at your usual level
  • Stomach problems, constipation or diarrhea
  • A general feeling of not being well
  • Mood changes
  • Disturbed sleep — such as insomnia, early waking or excessive sleepiness

There are different causes of jet lag. These include disruption to your circadian rhythms, the influence of sunlight and airline cabin pressure and atmosphere.

 

Disruption to Circadian Rhythms

Your body has an internal clock that has a set sleeping schedule. When traveling to new time zones the body can become confused with the new light and darkness schedule. This disruption can cause jet lag symptoms.

Mayo Clinic shared this example.
“If you leave New York on a flight at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, and arrive in Paris at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, your internal clock still thinks it’s 1:00 a.m. That means you’re ready for bed just as Parisians are waking up.  And because it takes a few days for your body to adjust, your sleep-wake cycle, along with most other body functions, such as hunger and bowel habits, remains out of step with the rest of Paris.” 

This biological clock disruption is one of the biggest causes of jet lag.

The Influence of Sunlight

The body has specific signals of when to release melatonin. Your eyes have certain cells in your retina that transmit light signals to your brain. When there is a lot of light the brain is told to release very small amounts of melatonin. When it is dark the brain is told to release larger amounts of melatonin to the body to signal tiredness. You can ease this cause of jet lag by exposing yourself to daylight as much as possible to adjust to the new timezone.

 

Airline Cabin Pressure and Atmosphere

The most interesting causes of jet lag symptoms is the effect of the airplane. Some studies show that the high altitudes and cabin pressures can cause discomfort despite how many time-zones are crossed. Humidity levels are also very low in airplanes which can cause slight dehydration if a person does not drink enough water. This small dehydration can cause feelings of jet lag.

With several causes of jet lag one might ask how to get over it. As mentioned in the beginning of the article we have posted about tips and tricks and to read those click Jet Lag Tips.

 

Jet lag is temporary, though if you are a frequent traveler it might be beneficial to speak with your doctor or visit a sleep specialist to avoid the symptoms of jet lag. If your doctor suggests melatonin supplements to help ease the pain of jet lag check out World Wide Labs for an all natural option and the Jet Lag Kit.

If you travel and try melatonin supplements and it helps you, please share your timezone adventure in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Mayo Clinic

How Melatonin Helps With Jet Lag

How Melatonin Helps With Jet Lag

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Travelling can be exciting and fun. Flying long distances gives you opportunities to see and experience exciting new things. If you’re travelling for business, you can make professional connections with colleagues who work in a different location. But if you’re enduring jet lag you’re too tired to go see the sights or make new friends.

Melatonin is a natural alternative to sleeping medication. Melatonin is commonly used to reduce jet lag. “As a jet lag remedy and sleep aid, melatonin has been widely studied, and it’s now a commonly accepted part of effective jet lag treatment.”[1] Taking melatonin 30 minutes before you go to sleep can “help ‘reset’ your sleep and wake cycle.”[2] Your body reacts to melatonin as if it were a light-dark signal which is why it helps reset your circadian clock and helps reduce jet lag.[3]

Kimberly Boyd (MD) gives three suggestions for taking melatonin: 1) Give it enough time to work, 2) Take only the dose you need, and 3) Don’t combine melatonin with other sedatives or alcohol.[4]

When you take melatonin influences its effectiveness. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise you should take melatonin 30 minutes before you plant to sleep. This allows the melatonin enough time to take effect before you try to sleep but not enough time to make you drowsy when you want to be awake. As with any other supplement or medication it is important to take only the dose you need or the dose suggested by your doctor.

Next time you have a long flight you’ll be able to explore your new surroundings without the weight of jet lag.

[1], [3] Mayo Clinic Staff (2016). Jet lag disorder. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/basics/alternative-medicine/con-20032662

[2] Unknown (2014). Jet lag and melatonin, topic overview. WebMD http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/jet-lag-and-melatonin-topic-overview

[4] Boyd, K. (2011). Tips to prevent and reduce jet lag. One life, make it count http://www.onemedical.com/blog/live-well/prevent-jet-lag/

 

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