Jet Lag Remedies
How to minimise jet lag on your next long-haul flight

Jet Lag is the effect on the body of high speed travel across several time zones.

Basically, your body clock is used to getting up at a certain time and going to sleep at a certain time, and the times of sunrise and sunset. If you fly to a different time zone, your body needs to adjust.

There's no cure, as such, for jetlag - you just get over it. But there are remedies, ways to minimise jet lag and overcome it more quickly...

1

Start adjusting to the new time zone before you fly
• If you'll be flying west, start going to bed later than usual.
• If you'll be flying east, start going to bed earlier than usual.

2

Allow 1 day of recovery for each 1 hour of time zone change
This is on the conservative side - Whenever I've flown non-stop between NZ and England, I'm completely adjusted to the 12 hour time difference after about 7 days. Although, for the first 3 days I'm like a zombie, never really asleep and never really awake!

3

During (and after) your flight, you can use sleeping pills or melatonin to help sleep. And caffeine to help stay awake.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep. A review of clinical studies suggests that melatonin supplements may help prevent jet lag, particularly in people who cross five or more time zones (source).

People with epilepsy or taking warfarin should not take melatonin.

Although alcohol helps you fall asleep quicker, you’re more likely to wake up during the night and feel less rested following your sleep (source).

4

When you arrive at your destination, spend some time outside during the day
Our bodies use daylight to set our body clock (circadian rhythm). Sunshine affects the brain via the interaction of the chemicals melatonin and serotonin, and vitamin D. So time outside, even on an overcast day, will help you adjust to a new timezone.

5

Fight it
When your body is desperately tired it's incredibly tough to stay awake. And it's even harder to make yourself go to sleep and stay asleep when your internal clock says it's daytime. But fight it. Force yourself to adjust 1-2 hrs a day and you'll soon be jet lag free.

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