With the best preparation in the world before leaving home, and having taken a few simple precautions during your flight, you will inevitably suffer the effects of jet lag, unless you also continue your “no jet lag” plan once you arrive at your destination.
Here, however, we need to sound a word of caution. One common problem with jet lag is that, for many people, the true effects of jet lag are not immediately apparent and it may take a day or two to “catch up” with you. In addition, the excitement of arriving at your holiday destination, or for an important business meeting, may also tend to mask the symptoms of jet lag.
So, if you arrive at your destination feeling like a million dollars and throw yourself into your holiday or business activities – beware! Jet lag will almost certainly creep up and hit you on the back of the head just when you least expect it.
If your destination is in a time zone that is behind the time back home it is often claimed that taking a nap as soon as possible after your arrival is helpful. This is, however, not advisable, unless you really feel that you cannot press on without some sleep. If this is the case, try to take only a short nap lasting no more than about thirty or forty minutes. The best cure for jet lag, and its associated insomnia, is to press on to the normal bedtime at your destination and, thereby, to immediately begin the process of adapting your internal body clock to its new environment.
If you arrive at a destination that is ahead of your home time then try to sleep through as much of the night as possible, even though your body still thinks that it’s the middle of the day. Here the use of natural remedies such as herbal teas, as well as a warm (but not hot) bath, aromatherapy or relaxation and meditation exercises can be extremely helpful in triggering the body’s natural sleep cycle.
Light also plays a very important role in reducing the effects of jet lag and you should try to expose yourself to as much daylight as possible during normal waking hours. If you arrive during the day avoid the temptation to sit and rest in your hotel room or lounge and get out and about in the daylight until it’s time for your normal evening routine.
You should also continue to pay attention to your diet. Eating and drinking to excess is often a normal part of any holiday or business trip, but try to avoid over-indulging in the first two or three days after arrival. In particular, limit your intake of such things as caffeine and alcohol, as well as other stimulants.
Finally, don’t neglect your body’s need for exercise. Taking regular daily aerobic exercise for at least twenty minutes (even if that’s only a brisk walk back to your hotel rather than a taxi ride) is an important part of any plan to cure jet lag.
Copyright 2005 Donald Saunders – http://help-me-to-sleep.com