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J is for Jet Lag

 Jet-setters know the perils of jet lag. 

Those round-the-world junkets may offer exciting adventures, but a body will pay its toll in time for all that touring.

What is jet lag?

It’s a fatigue like no other, as the human body tries to catch up with changes in time zones after traveling.

How can a traveler minimize jet lag?

Here are a few points from frequent flyers. Try these seven tips, if you travel overseas, to keep jet lag at bay, as much as possible.

1. Drink plenty of fluids.

Water is essential to human health – and even more so to those traveling in pressurized airplane cabins, which tend to dehydrate people. Dehydration aggravates the effects of jet lag.

That’s why flight attendants on overseas flights often pass out water bottles, particularly during the last hour or two.

2. Skip the booze.

Alcoholic beverages can actually dehydrate the body. What’s more, a few belts are likely to add to disorientation and make it harder for a traveler to adjust to time zone and environmental shifts.

3. Go light on caffeine during the flight.

Caffeine is another diuretic, contributing to potential dehydration. And, although a groggy traveler may crave a caffeine boost, the after-effects may make it harder to sleep when that odd-hour possibility presents itself.

4. Eat well.

It’s hard to stay on schedule, nutritionally speaking, when one’s daily schedule is so jumbled by traveling across time zones. But it’s important. Carbohydrates tend to help quiet queasy stomachs and readjust the body’s own rhythms. Crunchy carb snacks can be a traveler’s handy friend.

5. Sleep, if possible.

Even a nodding-off nap while in flight may lessen the effects of jet lag for the traveler. Inflatable neck pillows, soft sleep masks, and disposable ear plugs or noise-canceling headphones can be lifesavers for in-flight snoozing.

6. Re-set watches before landing.

Psychologically, a wristwatch set on local time helps to re-set one’s own internal clock. Maybe it just eliminates confusion over what time it is. But that is a plus.

7. Try not to nap.

Many overseas tours begin as soon as participants hit the ground, making catch-up sleep impossible. At this point, a short nap may actually set one up for a day of grogginess.

Most travelers find it’s actually easier to plod on through, virtually ensuring a full night’s sleep that evening. That’s where a little caffeine can come in handy.

In fact, seasoned tour guides tend to encourage those in their charge to stay up till the evening, rather than crashing early. This may make the jet lag transition faster.

Airplane by Cylonka
Stock.Xchng Photos

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  1. Sounds like good advice - I know I never remember to drink enough water when flying!

  2. Great advice. Thanks.

  3. I try to drink lots of water when traveling!

  4. No 7 is quite hard to do particularly if you've travelled long distances as I normally do (NZ to India - about 30 hours with many plane changes in between). I just accept that it will take a couple of days to adjust. But your tips are good.

  5. I can vouch for all those tips. Visiting from A to Z.
    Jagoda from

  6. Thank you! I've got a trip coming up very soon. I printed this out and putting it in my carry on so I don't forget.
    Peanut Butter and Whine



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