Jet Lag

What is jet lag?

Jet lag is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms as a result of air travel across time zones.

What are other symptoms of jet lag?

Besides fatigue and insomnia, a jet lag sufferer may experience anxiety, constipation, diarrhea, confusion, dehydration, headache, irritability,nausea, sweating, coordination problems, and even memory loss. Some individuals may report additional symptoms, such as heartbeat irregularities and an increased susceptibility to illness. - from

Tips Compared

(Mouse-over items and column headings for an explanation.)

Planning Your Trip FAM MAY MNT NIH RD
Arrange your flight time.    
Consider a stopover.    
Arrive a few days early.    
Ask your doctor about your medicines.   
Arrive ahead of time.    
Consider slower transportation.    
Before Departing FAM MAY MNT NIH RD
Get in shape.    
Move your mealtimes.    
Keep bedtimes on schedule.    
Begin changing your sleep times. 
Get plenty of rest before your trip.  
Wear comfortable shoes and clothes.    
Set your watch to the new time.  
Move around on the plane.   
Drink plenty of water. 
Avoid alcohol. 
Avoid caffeine. 
Sleep on the plane.    
Block out disturbances.    
After Arriving FAM MAY MNT NIH RD
For short hauls, maintain your schedule.    
Use sunlight to reset your clock.  
Avoid light at certain times.    
Continue daily exercise.    
Avoid exercising late in the evening    
Adapt to the local schedule.   
Eat right.    
Try not to sleep until nighttime.    
Check your new room.    
Perhaps take a mild sedative.    
Try taking melatonin. 
It may time to recover.    

Summarized from: (FAM),   Mayo Clinic (MAY),  
MedicineNet (MNT),   U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH),  
and Reader's Digest (RD)

Additional Possiblities
"Investigate other remedies. Most red-eye regulars have a favorite jet lag cure, from aromatherapy or homeopathy to special diets. Many of these diets alternate days of feasting and fasting and high- protein and low-protein meals. Though no anti-jet-lag diet has definitively been shown to work, some people swear by them.

"If the diets themselves seem too complicated, you can approximate their effects by simply eating high-protein foods to stay alert and carbohydrates when you want to sleep. Most alternative jet lag therapies aren't harmful and may be worth a try if nothing else helps." Mayo Clinic

"A period of fasting with no food at all for about 16 hours is enough to engage this new clock," said Dr. Clifford Saper of Harvard Medical School. Thomas Reuters News Agency

("Skip the pretzels: starving may fend off jet lag", 22 May 2008)

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