HOW TO REDUCE JET LAG

Use No-Jet-Lag

This is a safe and effective remedy for countering jet lag, in the form of easy-to-take tablets. Its effectiveness has been proved in a scientific trial of round-the-world passengers and confirmed by longhaul flight attendants in a test conducted in cooperation with their union. Being a homeopathic preparation using extremely low dosages, No-Jet-Lag has no side effects and is compatible with other medications. It has no connection with the controversial hormone melatonin. No-Jet-Lag is available at luggage stores, health stores, pharmacies and international airports, click here for store locator, or click here to order No-Jet-Lag online from Magellan's.

Pre-flight

This is one of the most important aspects of combating jet lag. Before departing, make sure you have all your affairs, business and personal, in order. Ensure you are not stressed-out with excitement or worry, and not tired or hungover from a function the night before. Get plenty of exercise in the days prior to departure and try to avoid sickness such as the flu, colds and so on. If you have a cold, flying will probably make it worse - ideally you should delay the trip. Get a good night's sleep just prior to departure.

East or west?

There is much debate about whether it is better to fly eastward or westward. It may be largely a matter of personal preference, but there is some evidence that flying westwards causes less jet lag than flying eastwards.

Night or day flight?

Again it is largely a matter of personal preference based on experience. Most travelers think daytime flights cause less jet lag. We note that more daytime long haul flights are being added by major airlines.

Drinking fluids

The dry air in aircraft causes dehydration. Drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids counters this. Water is better than coffee, tea and fruit juices. Alcohol not only is useless in combating dehydration, but has a markedly greater intoxicating effect when drunk in the rarefied atmosphere of an airliner than it does at ground level.

Sleeping aids

Blindfolds, ear plugs, neckrests and blow-up pillows are all useful in helping you get quality sleep while flying. Kick your shoes off to ease pressure on the feet (some airlines provide soft sock-like slippers, and many experienced travellers carry their own).

Exercise

Get as much exercise as you can. Walking up and down the aisle, standing for spells, and doing small twisting and stretching exercises in your seat all help to reduce discomfort, especially swelling of legs and feet. Get off the plane if possible at stopovers, and do some exercises or take a walk. This also helps to reduce the possibility of blood clots and associated trauma.

Showers

During extended stopovers on a longhaul flight, showers are sometimes available. A shower not only freshens you up but gets the muscles and circulation going again and makes you feel much better for the rest of the flight. Trans-Pacific pilots have told us taking a shower in Hawaii helps them recover more quickly from the general effects of jet lag after the flight.

Melatonin

This is a controversial and complex treatment for jet lag involving the manipulation of a hormone in the body, starting in the days preceding travel. Research shows that if you miscalculate the right time to take it, melatonin will actually make jet lag worse! And for research that casts doubt on whether melatonin does counter jet lag click here.

Anti jet lag diet

Another complicated method is the anti jet lag diet. Like melatonin, this is for people with lots of time on their hands who can devote several days before and after a trip to preparing. Although it has some passionate devotees it is complicated and there is little evidence that it works.

Sleeping pills (don't!)

Some people use sleeping tablets to try to alleviate jet lag. This is a dangerous approach as sleeping pills induce a comatose state with little or no natural body movement, and it is well known that prolonged immobility during flight can lead to fatal blood clots (deep vein thrombosis). This was reported as far back as 1988 in the Lancet, which said it was estimated "that over three years at Heathrow Airport, 18% of the 61 sudden deaths in long distance passengers were caused by clots in the lungs." Picture the leg veins as bags of blood. When this blood doesn't circulate there is a risk that it will clot. In addition, many so-called sleeping pills are variants on anti-histamines and they tend to dehydrate significantly, adding to the already significant problem of in-flight dehydration.

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