TRAVEL

WINNING THE WAR ON JETLAG

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Back in the late 70’s, I went on month long trip to Israel.  The day I came home, my girlfriend had surprised my with 7th row center seats for a “YES” concert later that week.  I was thrilled to go and so we did.  About halfway into the set, jetlag struck and I slept soundly through the remainder of the concert.

If something like this has ever happened to you, then you know the perils of jet lag.  Here are just a few suggestions that may help you.

“You wanna know the secret to surviving air travel? After you get where you’re going, take off your shoes and your socks then walk around on the rug bare foot and make fists with your toes.”

Bruce Willis was given this advice by a fellow passenger in the original “Die Hard” movie.  I was curious to see if this trick actually works.  While there has not been any real scientific testing that I know of, many people have reported that this trick works for them.  It seems to have something to do with stimulating the pressure points in your feet.  It is said to work better with thick shag.  Try it and see if it works for you.

They say “Timing is everything”.  This is true for flying as well.  Consider this; if you are taking a flight of about 12 hours, leaving at night will get you there in the morning with not much sleep to keep you going.  However, if you take the “red eye”, you will arrive at night and can go to sleep soon after.  Also take into account the time zone changes to determine the time of your arrival.

Another way to minimize jetlag is to avoid alcohol on your flight.  Now that I have probably ruined the trip for some people, there is a reason for this.  The pressurized cabin tends to dry out the body and alcohol effects your internal body clock by preventing a full and restful night’s sleep.  Of course if alcohol will enhance your enjoyment of the flight, have at it.  Just remember the tradeoffs.

On the opposite side of the coin, drink as much water as you can.  I always drink as much water as possible on a flight.  I will usually either buy a large bottle after the security check or ask the in-flight stewardess for one.

Setting your watch for the time zone you are traveling to can also help you out.  This will allow your body to adjust to the new time.  Try to get as much fresh air as possible and avoid sleeping during the day if you have a morning arrival.  If you absolutely must grab a little shut eye, set your alarm for about 4 hours.   The more you avoid sleep during the day, the better you are likely to sleep that night.

There are a number of ideas for reducing jet lag.  These are just a few.  Check back for more tips in the future.  If you have any tips for helping with jetlag, please tell us in the comments below.

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