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How to fight jet lag

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Traveling is supposed to be an exciting and interesting experience. But there is always the travesty of flying across time zones and succumbing to the ever dreadful jet lag. This one word sends shivers down my spine. I don’t know about you but for me, managing jet lag successfully is as essential as having all your toiletries and necessities at hand for a favorable trip.

The worst kind of jet lag is one where you cross 12 time zones from departure to arrival. For example, that means traveling from any state in North America to any country in South East Asia. Or vice versa. It is the mother of all trips that will set your circadian rhythm on “wacko” for at least 3 days! Unfortunately, to experience a different culture that will benefit you and widen your horizons in the long run, jet lags are part and parcel of the whole experience. And you are not alone, over 96% of travelers suffers jet lag in their long overhaul flights.

It is actually normal for travelers to breeze through the first 3 days in a daze due to jet lag to find that when they’re more settled in for real fun, the trip is almost over. So, here are a few tips I have that will essentially help you with managing a 12 time zone jet lag. Some tips are based on my own experience and some are passed down to me by frequent flyers.

1. Rest well before departure.

The night before departure, make sure you have plenty of rest and do not get drunk. Clubbing and alcohol can take a backseat until fly time is over. You will need the rest to prepare your body for the long flight because a well rested body recovers better from jet lags. Being drunk will dehydrate your body giving you a hangover thus making your trip on the plane painful. Not to mention, being on a plane dehydrates your body further too! Which brings me to my next point…

2. Water, water, water!

Drink plenty of water. Due to the dehydration caused by dry surroundings in higher altitudes, your body requires fluids to replenish itself. And water works better than any juice, fizzy drinks. Please say no to alcohol, however tempting the cabin bar might be because alcohol only dehydrates you further. That said, a dehydrated body slows down jet lag recovery and might even be the cause for you to fall sick on your trip. Flying weakens your immune system, a dehydrated body only taxes the immune system even further.

3. Get sleeping aids.

Sleep is essential on a long haul flight. You need to be well rested on high altitudes so that you can take on your trip full force. So, invest in a good neck rest because cabin seats are rarely comfortable save for the few who can afford business class on every trip. Also, it would be wise to get earplugs to help dissipate the aircraft noise, which can be quite annoying after a few hours. Better rest helps with combating jet lag.

4. No-Jet-Lag Pills

This is a miracle drug, if you can call it a drug. No-Jet-Lag pills work like a charm every time and even with a 12 time zone flight, you can emerge feeling like you just left. These homeopathic pills are made from natural herbs and it’s completely safe to use with other drugs. Just follow the instructions on when to take a pill. I highly recommend frequent flyers to get the No-Jet-Lag pills. In any case, this should not be an excuse to forgo Tip # 1, 2 and 3 because you would still need to rehydrate and rest well for these long trips.

5. Positive Thinking.

I realize that the more positive and motivated you are, the faster you recover from jet lag. If you’re worrying about whether or not you turned off the faucet or closed the garage door, or is stressed about work or has anxiety, chances are your flight will be not be a pleasant one. Thus, it will prolong your jet lag symptoms after touchdown. Learn up some relaxation techniques and exercises you can do while in the plane. Simple yoga stretches and deep breathing methods can help ease your worries and stress and keep you motivated and positive during the long overhauls.

Photo of jet lagged people at Frankfurt Airport, Germany originally posted by Gin Fizz

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer elaine lim

Elaine Lim is a freelance copywriter with several published articles in local food magazines. Her interests lies in traveling, which mainly involves hunting for local delicacies and fine cuisine. During her spare time, you can find her packing for a trip or feeding her loved ones. Elaine would like to visit the whole of Italy someday.

2 responses to “How to fight jet lag”

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  1. Seoul Traveller says:
    August 7th, 2008 at 17:37

    I think the main thing to overcome jet-lag is to try as soon as possible to start your sleep routine to fit in with local hours. The sooner you try and settle in this way the sooner you are likely to overcome things.

  2. Elaine says:
    August 7th, 2008 at 20:38

    I do agree with you wholeheartedly. Sometimes though, it is hard for the biological clock to adjust. An optimistic outlook is always helpful in this case :)

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