Jet Lag Solutions From A Travel Medicine Expert
Jet lag is one of the most frequent problems for travelers crossing multiple time zones when their normal sleep-wake cycle gets out of sync. Common jet lag symptoms include: daytime fatigue; insomnia; poor concentration; digestive disturbances; irritability; and depression. It happens more often if crossing four time zones, flying west to east, in persons older than 55, in those less physically fit and in those with a "type A" personality.
There isn't a magic remedy for jet lag because you can't fool your body, but some measures from Jeffrey Band, M.D., medical director of Beaumont Hospitals' International Travel Health program may help:
* Get adequate rest before a long trip.
* Don't try to cram everything into the last day before your trip - relax.
* Try to sleep during long flights. A noise cancellation device can be helpful, as can a short-acting antihistamine or a low-dose prescription sleeping pill.
* Drink lots of water while traveling.
* Avoid heavy meals on an airplane.
* Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
* Set your watch to the new time zone.
* Get out in the fresh air and sunshine if you arrive during the day. If you arrive at night walk and do stretching exercises.
* Short-acting antihistamines, melatonin or a prescription sleep aid may help the first few nights if you have trouble sleeping.
* Try not to plan major activities on the day you arrive - relax.