Jet lag is that feeling of weariness you feel as you step off an airplane. Sometimes an upset stomach also accompanies this extreme tiredness.
Cause and Symptoms
This condition is caused by the disruption of the internal body clock. As a result, you feel sleepy during the day and you might also be slightly dehydrated because of cabin conditions. However, something can be done about this.
Treatment and Care Tips
This condition is no different than any other, in that the method to get rid of jet lag may be different for different people. If you do not fly often it may take you some trial and error to find out what works best for you. On the other hand, at least knowing you have options helps you reach a solution faster.
Here are some simple ways to overcome jet lag:
- Expose yourself to plenty of sunlight. This is a natural source of energy and Vitamin D that the body needs. Psychologically, it also can help adjust your body’s internal clock in the event you are traveling between varying time zones.
An alternative to sunlight exposure would be to seek light therapy such as the kind that is sought when a person is depressed. If you own a “happy light” already this may be a great option for you. They can be quite costly but if you take frequent airline trips it may be worth it. It is recommended that you choose one that is of as high of light intensity as possible (3,000 to 10,000 lux).
- Get some physical activity. The natural endorphins in your body will replenish you while you exercise. The feeling you get when you exercise is a natural, non-addictive high that is healthier for you than drinking too much coffee.
- Drink a caffeinated beverage or energy drink. Caffeine is fine for your body as long as you use it in moderation. One to two 6 oz. cups of coffee or tea a day is ideal. You could also drink one serving of a Monster or comparable brand of energy drink that has ginseng, guarana, and other “pick-me-up” herbs in it.
- Take a prescribed medication. If you fly regularly this may be necessary. However, try to choose a medication that is non-habit forming. Talk to your doctor about your options if you cannot seem to get rid of jet lag using the home care tips as described above.
Jet Lag Prevention
If you get a good night’s rest before you take your flight it can help prevent you from getting too exhausted when you disembark the plain. You could also go to bed one hour later or earlier each night for maybe a week to help you adjust to a new time zone.
Keeping your body filled with liquid, especially water, will also help. If you must have coffee or alcohol keep it too a minimum or you may become very tired once the buzz wears off. If you need energy you could drink decaffeinated tea with ginseng in it, as long as you are not allergic to any herbs.