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FAQ: Air Traveler's Handbook 3/4 [Monthly posting]
Section - [3-6] Jetlag

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Jetlag is a phenomenon where one feels tired, fuzzy, and generally
fatigued, sometimes accompanied by dull headaches, due to a time zone
change. 

To reset your clock, there are several things you can do:
   o  Stay up 24+ hours and go to sleep at the normal time
      for your destination.
   o  Do not take a nap at your destination until it is the normal
      time to go to sleep.
   o  When you wake up in the morning at your destination, go for a half hour
      walk in the bright morning sunlight. (If there is no sunlight, a
      bright light can substitute.)
   o  Do not eat right before you go to sleep. Eat a light dinner.
   o  Eat your meals according to the destination time zone.
   o  Do not drink any alcoholic or caffeine-based beverages
      during your flight. Drinking other liquids is OK -- some people
      recommend drinking a lot of water.
   o  Don't forget to adjust your watch.
 
Things that affect the sleep-wake cycle:
   o  Sunlight. Properly timed bright light is very helpful. Turn off
      the lights in your bedroom at bedtime in your destination time zone,
      and leave the windowshades down in the morning.
   o  Time of Meals
   o  Amount of Sleep
   o  It is easier to shift forward (e.g., waking up at noon home time
      instead of 7am) than it is to shift backward (e.g., waking up at
      to sleep at 2am).
   o  Carbohydrates make you sleepy. Protein will keep you awake. Eat
      heavy carbohydrate meals for two days prior to the trip and a
      heavy protein one on the day of departure.

Some people recommend taking melatonin at dusk or bedtime (for your
destination) a day or two before departure, and continue for a day or
two after you arrive. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland at the
base of the brain during the night, and can be used to shift the
circadian rhythm ("body clock").  Melatonin production is highest in
the dark and is suppressed by exposure to sunlight. Melatonin is
available from many health food stores (as a "food supplement"), but
this may be changing due to action by the FDA. Melatonin is not a
tested, FDA-approved drug. It is known to have side effects after
extended usage. The drug is still available in Europe and Canada. BE
SURE TO CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE TAKING MELATONIN OR ANY OTHER
DRUG.

Most flights are run according to the time of the departure point, not
the destination. If you need to sleep according to the light/dark
cycle of your destination, bring along eye shades and ear plugs. 

Note that you can regulate your body's production of melatonin using
light, achieving much the same effect as taking the drug.

Or you could give in, and just not plan to do anything really
important during your first day in the new time schedule. If you can
arrange it, just don't switch over to the new time zone, if you're
only going to be there for a few days.

The Argonee National Laboratory anit-jet-lag diet is available as the
file ftp://ftp.cs.cmu.edu/user/mkant/Travel/ 

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Top Document: FAQ: Air Traveler's Handbook 3/4 [Monthly posting]
Previous Document: [3-5] Special Meals
Next Document: [3-7] Pregnant Passengers

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM