How To Reduce Jet Lag
and Get Into Your Holiday Faster
The name Jet Lag was coined in 1966 by Horace Sutton from the Los Angeles Times. His theory was that planes travel so fast that they leave your body rhythms behind…and in a way – he was correct.
What Is Jet Lag?
Our bodies are governed by rhythms and they are called Circadian Rhythms which was discovered in the 1970’s. When we fly over a number of different time zones in a short period, it disrupts the cycle of our Circadian Rhythms. These cycles happen over a 24-hour period in a pattern of awake – alertness – sleep.
Disruptions of these Circadian Rhythms can create physical, mental and behavioral changes.
Our bodies are naturally programmed to do a number of things throughout this 24-hour period and Circadian Rhythm helps regulate blood pressure, stress levels, appetite, and sleep pattern.
Circadian Rhythms respond primarily to light and darkness/or night and day. Jet Lag can be thought of a temporary sleep disorder and the quicker we adjust it – the faster you can enjoy your holiday.
Preparing For Your Trip
Prior to flying it is good to avoid certain drinks because they only add to the symptoms of Jet Lag and make you feel worse.
Try to avoid excess alcohol, tea/coffee and soda because they have caffeine, which dehydrates the body – and one of the major problems you want to avoid while flying.
Eat a light meal before you travel which is rich in protein (chicken, Turkey, meat, eggs) and nutrients (salad or vegetables).
Drink plenty of fresh fruit juice a few days prior to leaving, which to allow your body to store much-needed vitamins before the trip.
Drink at least 500 mils of water before you get on the plane.
During the Your Trip
Dehydration is one of the biggest contributors to Jet Lag and experts recommend drinking water before the flight and then 500mls every hour – so make sure you get an aisle seat for your frequent trips to the loo.
If you have to run to the toilet frequently – all the better – because that is considered as exercise. It promotes circulation of blood around the body, which helps with eliminating toxins that build up during jet lag.
Moving around every hour is good advice, this not only allows blood to circulate, but you are working your joints and muscles. Even wiggling your toes while you are sitting in your seat, promotes blood flow into your legs.
After You Have Arrived!
The symptoms of Jet Lag include fatigue, disturbed sleep, stomach problems and difficulty concentrating – but these symptoms are only temporary and will last only 1 – 4 days depending on the distance and duration of the flight.
Jet Lag is due to lack of sleep, dehydration and a disruption in out Circadian Rhythms, which can vary depending on our age, state of health and stress levels.
The aim is to get your Circadian Rhythms back into sync and there are a number of ways to help you do this:-
Drinking water helps maintain the balance of fluids and our body is composed of about 60% water, while our brain is made up of 75% water.
The purpose of fluid in our body is to promote healthy brain function and produce bodily fluids that include digestion, absorption, circulation, the creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients and maintenance of body temperature.
Lemons and limes have properties that will help to fight off the effects of dehydration, so drinking water with fresh lemon or lime added is good to rehydrate.
Coconut juice is one of the best things you can drink for dehydration, so if you have arrived somewhere tropical like Siem Reap, take advantage of it.
Eat Nutritious Meals
What food we eat, directly affects our insulin levels – and insulin levels affect our bodies Circadian Rhythms. It is recommended to eat light meals rich with vitamins and minerals to help insulin levels adjust.
Chicken, turkey and eggs are a great source of protein that becomes depleted during flying and good for the muscles to readjust.
Fish and shellfish including tuna, cod, lobster, crabs and shrimp are good mood stabilizers. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they are good for the brain especially when you are tired.
Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium to help replenish vitamins and they are easy to digest.
Cherries or cheese are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin and a good source of tryptophan, which helps boost levels.
Pineapple is a good mood regulator and helps eliminate toxins.
Avocado, salmon, nuts (especially walnuts and almonds), coconut oil, beans, spinach, tomatoes and asparagus are natural memory boosters, especially good if you are flying for business.
Red wine is a good antioxidant to help remove toxins from the body.
Milk and dairy products induce sleep and help your body readjust to the new time zone.
Using sunlight to reset your Circadian Rhythms is one of the most powerful, effective tools for regulating your sleep/wake cycle.
Studies have shown that Vitamin D from the sun directly affects the Circadian Rhythms of our body and helps them return back to their normal cycle.
Exercise promotes the flow of blood around the body and helps remove any toxic residue.
Having a workout also assists you to reset your Circadian Rhythms and reduces the effects of a long flight by helping blood flow, while assisting your systems to return back to normal.
If you can do your workout outside – all the better. Even going for a walk out in the sunshine will help reduce the symptoms of Jet Lag.
Studies into Melatonin
One of the treatments that have been advocated for combating Jet Lag is Melatonin – a hormone produced in the pineal gland of the brain.
Levels of Melatonin rise at night, when darkness falls and it is the chemical that induces sleep. Studies have shown that taking Melatonin in tablet form, can significantly reduce the symptoms of Jet Lag and increase the speed of recovery after a long-haul flight.
Melatonin produces vivid dreams and on waking most people feel well rested and refreshed. In some countries, you can buy Melatonin tablets available over the counter, while in others a prescription is needed.
It is recommended to be taken at night, takes about 1 hour to have an effect and see your doctor for further advice.
Jet Lag App
If you are serious about reducing jet lag – there is a mobile app called JetLag Rooster.
It uses a scientific algorithm to help you adjust to other time zones by suggesting when to expose yourself to light or darkness.
Put in your details and you’ll receive a customized plan of the best approach to take in reducing your Jet Lag.
Jet Lag can be reduced if you are flying during the day, when you are normally awake or when you have a stopover, stay for 2 or 3 days to allow your body to adjust.
However traveling is all worth the short term of discomfort – because you get to experience the adventure…what we call life by visiting other countries and people. You have the rich reward of seeing far off places and experiencing different cultures, which can only make us a more rounded and educated individual.
Siem Reap, Cambodia is now becoming the new “hot spot” in Asia with its fabulous temples, culture, food, awesome nightlife and a place where your money goes a long way.
If you would like you to know more of what Siem Reap has to offer just press out FAST FIND A SECTION …and have an experience in Asia that you will never forget.