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Jetsetters – Strike First to Defeat Jet Lag

November 2nd, 2010 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Jetsetters – Strike First to Defeat Jet Lag

jet lagIf we are to listen to conventional wisdom and the opinion of some “experts,” we would say that it takes the human body approximately one day to fully recover from each time zone you cross traveling by air. By that logic, six time zones would equal six days! Your vacation or business trip would likely be concluding by the time you finally recover from the flights. While we’re not here to debate the particulars of jet lag, other than to say it definitely exists, the point we’d like to address is how to recover from the effect or, even better, do what you can to prevent it in the first place.

There’s no sense in feeling like you’ve been worked over by Muhammad Ali in his prime if you don’t have to – though don’t take this to mean you can entirely prevent jet lag. We’re talking more about mitigation here.

Flying internationally, New York to Hong Kong for example, can be timed to take much less of a toll if you can configure the excursion to keep your sleeping patterns as close to normal as possible.

The first question ask is whether or not you can sleep comfortably on an airplane? If not, plan your flight to arrive in the late afternoon or early evening so you can go to bed at what your body deems to be the right time. If sleeping while flying is no big deal, then it would be okay to catch an evening flight, sleep through the night and wake up feeling refreshed the following morning at your destination. Most major airlines offer a broad enough schedule to allow for either choice.

Do you love those drinks pandered by the stewardess? If it’s not water, tell her no thanks. Flying substantially dehydrates the body and alcohol compounds the effect. Inebriation and dehydration lead to poor sleep, which leaves you in a brain fog for most of your trip. Don’t forget to move around frequently. Set yourself on a schedule to get up and walk up and down the aisle a few times, do some stretches, and generally make a nuisance of yourself to those attempting to use the aisle. Set your clock to the destination local time, maybe Paris if you’re lucky, and don’t sleep unless it’s sleeping time there.

If you absolutely must close your eyes upon arrival at the hotel, set the alarm to wake you up in four hours and then get to after your planned activities. That should be enough to recover from the jet lag effects somewhat without throwing your body clock off yet again.

The Jetsetter Team

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Flickr / random duck

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