Ever wake up at 3 a.m. in a foreign country and find you are unable to sleep? You are probably suffering from jet lag. Some people handle jet lag better than others. What is jet lag? Jet lag occurs when the body's rhythms are disrupted when travelling very quickly through the time zones and there is no time to adapt. Did you know? (1) Jet lag can last up from 2 to 14 days. (2) If you spend more time outdoors (and in natural daylight) you'll recover more quickly from jet lag. (3) The more time zones you crossed, the greater likelihood of jet lag symptoms. (4) Travelling east, it takes longer to recover from jet lag than travelling westwards. (5) It takes roughly one day for every time zone crossed before your internal body clock gets in tune with the new enviroment.
Jet lag survival guide
*Exercise, but not excessively, for a few days before you travel.
*Don't over-indulge - on food or alcohol at least a few days prior to departure.
*Change your watch to the destination time as soon as you get on board. It may fool your mind!
*Don't drink alcohol or over-eat in-flight and try and avoid caffeine and drink plenty of water.
*Try to arrive in the evening on a long-haul trip.
*If you are prone to jet lag on a lengthy journey, organise a stopover.
*On arrival chill out, maybe take a short nap for an hour or so, and wake up with a shower to freshen you up.
*Don't go for a heavy schedule on the first day.
*A drug called malatonin has attracted claims that it can help jet lag. Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep and is thought to help reset your body clock. It's available from Biovea (0800 404 8185 www.biovea,co.uk) from £12.95. *Report of one study said that 10% complained of side effects such as headaches and morning grogginess. Women who are pregnant or nursing should NOT take this pill. Further info: www.malatonin-info.co.uk