Jet Lag ? 5 Pre-travel Steps to Reduce the Effects of Jet Lag

Ask any regular long-haul flyer about their experience of flying and you will soon discover that everyone has a different "magic" formula for overcoming or avoiding jet lag.

In reality of course no magic formula exists ? and there is certainly no magic pill or tablet. There is, however, a great deal that you can do in preparation for your departure to help you overcome or eliminate jet lag and here are just a few tips:

1. Maintain a consistent sleep pattern.

If you are not following a consistent routine in the days and weeks before your journey (going to bed and getting up at the same time each day) your body's internal clock will be disrupted even before you start your journey and your flight will simply magnify the effects of insomnia induced by jet lag.

2. Ensure you are getting a balanced and healthy diet.

Diet plays an important role in ensuring that you get a good night's sleep and an appropriate balance of whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables in your diet is essential.

Alcohol and caffeine are two elements of your diet that are particularly important in relation to jet lag and these should be reduced, or eliminated, in the run-up to your journey if at all possible. If, however, asking you to give up your twelve cups of coffee each day is rather like asking you to cut off your right hand, then try to limit your intake to the afternoon between about 3 pm and 5 pm.

Caffeine when taken late in the day tends to speed up your body clock, while taking it in the morning has the opposite effect. Taken during the middle of the day, caffeine has little or no effect on your body's circadian rhythms.

3. Take regular exercise.

Regular exercise can significantly improve the consistency, quality and duration of your normal sleep cycle. Some form of daily aerobic exercise, lasting at least twenty minutes, will go a long way to preparing your body for your forthcoming journey.

4. Start to slowly adjust your bedtime.

You should begin to "manage" your body clock by gradually and slowly adjusting your bedtime and wake up time in the days before your journey, to bring these into line with the local time at your destination.

If, for example, you normally go to bed at 10 pm and you are flying to a country that is four hours ahead, at your normal bedtime the time at your destination will be 2 am. So, in this case, you need to slowly bring your bedtime forward a little bit (say fifteen minutes) each night for a week or ten days before your departure. This might mean that immediately prior to leaving you are going to bed at say 7.30 pm. However, when you arrive at your destination this will mean that you are now going to bed at 11.30 pm and that you have narrowed the four hour time difference to just one and a half hours.

5. Reduce stress in the days before traveling.

One often overlooked factor in the jet lag equation is that of stress and much of this stress is a direct result of the journey itself. How many times have you found yourself running around at the last minute trying to do 1001 things at once?

Plan ahead and make sure that, as far as is possible, everything that you need to do both at home and at works is completed well in advance of your journey. In planning for your journey, clear as much as you can as early as you can and make specific time available in your pre-journey planning for plenty of relaxation in the days immediately prior to your departure.

These are just a few examples of things that you should pay attention to when planning any long-haul trip and, together with other specific measures taken both during your flight and following your arrival, will considerably reduce the effects of jet lag, or even lead to no jet lag at all!

Copyright 2005 Donald Saunders - http://help-me-to-sleep.com

Donald Saunders is the author of a number of health-related publications looking in detail at curing insomnia and managing other common sleep disorders. Drop by for more information on jet lag and to pick up your free copy of "How To Get A Good Night's Sleep".

In The News:

People in Aviation  Aviation International News

Fuel Costs and Air Fares Set To Rocket After Hurricane Katrina Punishes The US

It now looks certain that Hurricane Katrina will push fuel... Read More

Entering Business Aviation, Part I: Types of Aircraft

The jets that people fly in corporate aviation are usually... Read More

Entering Business Aviation, Part II: Pay Rates for Flight Attendants

Pay. You know that aviation pays better than commercial, in... Read More

Young Men Trying to Imitate the 9-11 Scenario, Part IV

In conclusion of this young man who crashed a single... Read More

So You Want to Get Free Airline Tickets: Should You Choose a Reward or Cash Back Credit Card?

If you want to use a reward credit card for... Read More

Sport Aviation and Jet Aircraft

Do you want a little business jet with a lot... Read More

AWACS Automated Flight Following System for Nuke Bunker Buster Accuracy

The Aerial Fire Fighting Industry uses a system called AFF... Read More

Finding Really Cheap Airline Tickets Online

Trying to find really cheap airline tickets can become very... Read More

Essential Oil Skin Care Tips for Frequent Fliers

Are you one of those people that has lots and... Read More

Diamond Twinstar

Probably one of the coolest experimental aircraft twin-engine aircraft is... Read More

Really Cheap Airline Tickets

When you're looking for airline tickets to your specific destination,... Read More

Entering Business Aviation, Part III: Training Options

Time for some training! So, you are not sure what... Read More

Fighter Jet Trainers Sport Planes

You want a fighter jet as your personal aircraft; do... Read More

Getting Cheap Airfares

Airlines offer tickets at a fraction of the cost you... Read More

Jet Lag - 7 Steps To A Successful Trip

Don't let jet lag spoil that much needed holiday trip... Read More

Preventing Rapid Decompression In Commercial Airliners

In Flight Airline Rapid Decompression Breached Window (Airline Safety)Here is... Read More

Tactile Strip Sensors on Leading Edge of Material Memory Airfoils

Aircraft designers have always tried to figure out the best... Read More

Airbus A-380 is Pretty Big

You know the Airbus A-380 is so huge it takes... Read More

General Aviation Manufacturing is in the Tank; Hang On It is Going to Get Worse

Change is a constant, Outsourcing Jobs, Capital flows, Emerging Markets... Read More

The History of the Aircraft Wash Guys, Part Three

As we study this grass roots history of a franchise... Read More

Cracking Aircraft Windows with Directed Sound Waves

Today our modern military scientists have found many uses for... Read More

The History of the Aircraft Wash Guys, Part Two

The continuation of the history of a small service franchise... Read More

Flying As A Hobby

Ask a room full of people what hobby they have... Read More

The History of the Aircraft Wash Guys, Part One

Business scholars and students throughout recent periods have studied the... Read More

I Am Afraid Of Flying; You Are Not Getting Me A Light Plane

Boy I have heard it all from my friends. I... Read More