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How To Tackle Jet Lag:

If your travel plans include flying across several time zones, it's pretty likely you're going to get hit with jet lag. Whether you want to avoid wasting part of your vacation recovering from the flight or to make sure you're sharp for your business meeting, it helps to take some preventive measures.

Jet lag is the disruption of your circadian rhythms-the internal 'body clock' that tells you when to sleep and when to wake up. Some travelers can easily make the switch from one country to another without even skipping a beat.  This is usually a result of going on a fun vacation or holiday, as the mind can be so elated to be getting away from the routine grind that it allows the body to run purely on happy emotions.  For those that do not have such luxury and are traveling abroad for work purposes only, you may need some help in the jet lag department. You generally need one day of recovery for every time zone you cross.

Jet lag can include any of the following symptoms:

general body aches
susceptibility to infection
Preventing Jet Lag

Despite some opinions to the contrary, there is no scientifically proven method or pill that will cure jet lag. However, there are a few things you can do to lessen its effects.

Before You Board the Plane:

Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
Drink a lot of water.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Eat a light meal.

On the Plane:

Set your watch to your destination's time and sleep and eat accordingly.
To prevent dehydration, drink lots of water, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Try to get as much sleep as you can. Use a sleeping mask and ear plugs if necessary.
If you use a blanket, buckle your seat belt over the top so flight attendants won't wake you if there's turbulence.
Exercise and stretch. Get up out of your seat and walk in the aisle if you need to.
Avoid high-sodium airline foods. Bring your own snacks so you can control when and what you eat.

When You Arrive:

To help 'reset' your body's clock, get out in the sunlight for at least 15 minutes.
Do some light exercise.
Follow your new time schedule. If you arrive in the morning, try not to go to sleep until the evening even if you're tired.


Some studies suggest that melatonin can help prevent jet lag. Melatonin is a hormone that your body secretes to help you sleep through the night. By taking small doses of melatonin before and during your trip, you may be able to help prevent jet lag. Consult your doctor for more information. The US Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate the use of melatonin, so be careful when purchasing it over the counter.

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