Our biological clocks are based on a day/night cycle. These are called “circadian rhythms” because they occur about every 24 hours. When flying through more than three time zones you circadian rhythm can be thrown off-gear. Efficiency, physical comfort and thought processes can be effected. Jet lag can be minimized and your biological clock reset fairly quickly.
- The number one cause of jet lag is fatigue during the 24 hours before the flight. Get a good night’s sleep the night before we leave. Don’t stay out late with friends.
- Ironically, bad cases of jet lag are often made worse by the very frills that airlines provide their passengers. Over-eating, over-drinking, and lack of exercise during the flight contribute to the situation.
- Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing on the flight. Women should wear slacks or long dresses (not shorts or cut-offs) to prevent skin irritation from rough seat covers; Wear comfortable shoes. Prop your feet up whenever you get a chance to reduce swelling during long flights; Drink lots of water and juices. Be wary of Alcoholic beverages, sugared soda and caffeinated drinks. Alcohol and caffeine contribute heavily to bad jet lag. The aircraft’s air system draw moisture out of the air and you. Wash your face often during the flight with a moist cloth or napkin; Exercise during the flight. Walk around the plane once in a while; Try to drink a glass of water or juice at least once every hour.
- Consider skipping the movie. It usually starts around 11 PM body-clock time. Sleep or at least rest with your eyes closed instead. (Incidentally, the last 10 minutes of the movie is a good time to use the bathroom. There is seldom a line.)
- Set your watch to local time as soon as they announce it. It will put your mind on time, even if your body hasn’t yet caught up.