Jet lag is the state of mental and physical fatigue that occurs after rapid travel through different time zones. This is due to a disturbance of the brain's circadian rhythm and the endocrine glands (hormonal glands), produced by rapid changes in space and time. Crossing time zones can wreak havoc on your body. Your internal clock is out of sync with the time zone you have travelled to, so that your routine daily rhythm of activity and sleep are out of phase.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of jet lag include irritability, diminished alertness, poor concentration, loss of appetite, weakness, headache, fatigue, insomnia, blurred vision and depression. Jet lag seems to be worse when travelling from east to west.
Treatment and general recommendations
- Try to get some extra sleep the night before flying.
- Allow plenty of time to organize your trip so that you are not feeling rushed at the last minute.
- During the flight, consider using earplugs to reduce troublesome noise.
- Wear loose comfortable clothing.
- Take some regular walks around the aircraft and flex your calf muscles frequently.
- Try to sleep during the longer legs of your journey. If necessary, wear an eye mask, shut the blind and ask for a pillow.
- Try to adjust to the local time straight away. If you arrive at night go straight to bed at your usual bedtime. Don't oversleep the following morning - set the alarm if you have to. Go out for a walk in the bright outdoor light for the first one to two mornings.
During the flight avoid alcohol and coffee. Instead, drink plenty of fluids like water, mineral water or herbal tea. Eat fairly lightly and avoid fatty foods and rich carbohydrate foods which are harder to digest.
See "Magnesium - The Miracle Mineral". This book discusses Magnesium as being essential for hundreds of chemical reactions that take place in the body every second, with recent findings also indicating that it offers a wide range of important health-promoting benefits. See page 9 for these benefits.
You can find the following recommended juice recipe in the "Raw Juices Can Save Your Life" book.
Juice for Jet Lag
This juice has a stimulating effect and a rejuvenating action on the glands.
- 1 grapefruit
- 1/2 medium pineapple, peeled
- 8 fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 inch (1.5cm) fresh ginger
- Wash, trim and chop and pass all through the juicer.
- Pour over crushed ice.
Orthodox medical treatment
Short-acting sleeping tablets like temazepam, stilnox or sedative antihistamines can be useful to help you sleep during the journey or in the first few days on arrival.
Recommended supplements for jet lag
- Magnesium Tablets or Powder
Take 2 tablets twice daily or 1 teaspoon daily- Magnesium is very calming and will help reduce stress and anxiety associated with traveling.
- Sleep Eze
- Best taken at sunset. The natural hormone melatonin can assist with poor sleep and jet lag. The hormone melatonin helps to ‘reset’ the clock in the hypothalamus so that you can quickly adjust to the new local time at your destination. Take 3 mg of melatonin one hour before bedtime at your new destination. You will probably need to continue this for four to six nights. If you wake up during the night, you can take another 3 mg to help lengthen sleep. It is safer than sleeping pills and is not addictive. Melatonin seems to be fairly free of side effects.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.