How to Treat Jet Lag Naturally

With advancements in aviation technology coupled with lower fares, more and more people are flying today than ever before. Despite making the world a much smaller place, travelling greater distances in which you can traverse multiple time zones on a single flight brings with it a problem that is synonymous with modern-day air travel: jet lag.

For many people, especially expectant mothers, treating jet lag without the use of medication is a priority. Here are a few tips for dealing with jet lag symptoms naturally.

When in Rome

You just landed in Heathrow airport after an overnight flight from New York. You may have caught a quick nap here and there, but for the most part, you are feeling a bit worn and ragged. What is your body telling you to do as soon as you check in to your hotel room?

If it is telling you to take a nap, don’t listen!

This advice may sound counterintuitive because you have always heard that it is important to be in tune with what your body is telling you. But when it comes to battling jet lag, you are getting the wrong message. Stay awake and don’t go to bed until the local bedtime hours.

The Hydrate-Caffeinate Equation

What is the most important beverage for a marathon runner? Water.

What is the second most important beverage for a marathon runner? Caffeine – as in coffee.

The majority of Olympic athletes drink coffee to improve their performance. Also increasing mental alertness, the benefits of caffeine for marathoners have been well documented over the years.

If you have just disembarked from a plane after a marathon flight, why not follow the lead of elite athletes? Treat yourself to a healthy and reasonable dose of coffee. For someone who weighs 150 pounds (68 kilograms), a 16-ounce cup should do the trick.

Of course, don’t forget to drink water too. Even when you are not travelling, the standard recommendation is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses daily. If you haven’t been doing that, staying hydrated as a means of overcoming jet lag is the perfect time to start.

Get Out and About

The last thing you want to do when you’re dealing with jet lag is to vegetate in front of the telly in your hotel room.

Besides getting out in the sunlight – which by the way is also a great natural prescription for overcoming a feeling of sluggishness after a long flight – being out and about will give you a

much-needed boost of energy. This energy will carry you through the first day so that you can get to bed at the proper local time and sleep well.

Taking in a few of the nearby local sites will also make you feel good because you didn’t waste the first day of your trip trying to “catch-up” on sleep.

Don’t Make a Meal Of It

It is common knowledge that you should adjust your meal-times to the local clock. But what should you eat when you do sit down to dinner that first night? Foods from chicken to cherries and bananas will help your body to reset its clock and get you out of the jet lag fog faster. Pasta is also a good choice for a meal.

Conversely, stay clear of processed, fatty foods which will cause your digestive system to work overtime, and will make you feel like taking an after-dinner nap.

You should also resist the temptation to drink wine or alcohol of any kind because it will exacerbate any lingering feelings of fatigue. Following this advice may be hard to do, especially if your travels have taken you to wine country in France or Italy. But remember, this is only the first day of your trip, and you will have plenty of time to sample the local varieties without the jet lag hangover.

Finally, and regardless of what you eat, don’t overdo it. You only have to think back to your last festive season dinner to know why this is important.

Sure and Steady

Despite taking every preventative measure you can to deal with jet lag before boarding the plane, you cannot avoid it entirely.

Whether you are eating, getting out for an active stroll or powering down caffeine, do not overdo it the first day. A sure and steady approach to all activities is the ticket.

Also keep in mind that while everyone is different, generally speaking, it will take you anywhere from three to five days for your body to recover from jet lag. Be patient, especially since you get to do it all over again on your return flight. It might be a good idea to book a couple of days off from work when you get home.

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