March 13, 2011
I am determined not to be thrown by the long trip home from Australia. I couldn’t have gone farther away from home. Truly the other side of the earth. The trip there (going West) was painless. I was adjusted in a day or so. But this re-entry coming East to the US is a bit more challenging.
Jetlag is the out-of-whack circadian rhythm when your body doesn’t know which time zone it really is in.One might feel disoriented and fatigued. I am very glad that I didn’t schedule important meetings or obligations for the next week or so because “they” say a day per time zone crossed for recovery. My plan is to recover quickly and here is a list of helpful hints:
Always drink lots of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine when flying.
Try homoepathic No Jet Lag
Melatonin - melatonin release is stimulated by darkness. Light suppresses the release. When we cross time zones and are suddenly exposed to excessive light when it’s normally our bedtime our cycles are disrupted and it takes time for our bodies to readjust.
The “Argonne diet” or the “anti-jet lag diet” (tested on a few hundred National Guard personnel with good results) alternates a feast day and fast day – protein breakfasts and lunches and carb dinners on feast days and soup and salad on fast days.
Pilot Paul’s Recommendations are great, especially for how to sleep on a plane (noise canceling headphones, eye mask, pillows, comfy clothes, avoiding alcohol. He also has good info on napping, exercise and sunlight:
“If you are going to nap, you will have the most success if you nap eitherless than 45 minutes or more than 2 hours.This has to do with the cycles of sleep. Basically, if you wake up during that 45 minute to 2 hour timeframe, you have been in a much deeper phase of sleep. Because of this, it will take you much longer to wake up. They call this “sleep inertia”. The bottom line- if you plan your naps you can gain the most benefit from them.
If you have a regular exercise routine, you’ll want to continue it now. It picks you up and helps you after all the sitting on the plane. For the most effectiveness in combating jet lag symptoms, the Mayo Clinic recommends exercising either in early morning or late afternoon.
Studies have shown that exposure to bright light helps shift the circadian rhythms (body clock), and therefore reduce the jet lag symptoms.Dr. Martin Moore-Ede, a professor at Harvard Medical School, recommends that you expose yourself to bright daylight as soon as possible upon arrival. This should be for at least 15 minutes and without sunglasses.”
Most important, plan for an adjustment period. Give yourself extra time at both ends of your trip just in case. And, definitely have a good book to read in the middle of the night if you can’t sleep.