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Recover from the Flight Faster

Summer's on the horizon, and with summer comes long days, warm nights and long distance travel. Jetting across several time lines can be fun and exciting. New places, new faces, lots to do and see.

One problem that develops from long-term travel, however, is jet lag. What's jet lag? It's that sick, draggy, feeling of dis-ease that develops when speeding from time zone to time zone puts the circadian rhythm out of whack.

Ways to Combat Jet Lag

There are several methods of reducing or combating the miseries of jet lag. You can adjust your life style, your times of sleeping, waking and even eating to what you will be experiencing at the end of your trip. You can also get extra sleep before you leave to compensate for the hours lost during the flight. Watch your diet. Eat healthy and cut down on alcohol, caffeine and salt intake.

Drink plenty of water, both before the flight and while you're in the air to avoid dehydration. Move around during the flight. Get up and walk up and down the aisle. Don't sit in one position for too long.

Wear Sunglasses

According to researchers at the Edinburgh Sleep Center in Scotland, wearing sunglasses can also help defeat the ravages of jet lag. They alter your light patterns, reducing the swing from darkness to light, and help you adjust to new time zones.

The researchers discovered that, without sunglasses, it took passengers approximately a day when travel west to adjust for every hour lost. When traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast, that's five or six days to adjust. If you're on a week's vacation, you're going to feel rocky for almost the entire time. Travelling eastward is even more difficult to recover from.

Dr. Idzikowski, study leader, says that jet lag is a physical thing controlled by the biological clock, a group of 20,000 nerve cells in the brain. Wearing sunglasses during at least part of the trip helped travelers recover faster.

The study was carried out by the Edinburgh Sleep Center on behalf of British airways.

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