Tips to Cure Jet Lag
By Sara Butler
Whether you’re traveling five hours away or 15, jet lag can be a real issue. Traveling across time zones is not an easy adjustment for your body because it throws your internal body clock all out of whack. Your sleep-wake cycle is used to a certain light-dark cycle. When you travel someplace else, then you’re disrupting that cycle and it will leave you feeling hungry, tired, cranky, and not exactly in the mood to do whatever it is you've traveled to do! Here’s how you can fight back against jet lag to feel better fast!
Bask in the Light
To reset your sleep-wake cycle, you have to utilize light. Light is your body’s cue to rest or wake up, so syncing your body to your new surroundings is important. You can do this by exposing yourself to bright light. A light box is a great tool if you’ve got one – and portable ones are out there on the market. If you don’t have a light box, then going outside as much as possible when you arrive is also a winning strategy.
Just remember that it’s all about timing. If you expose yourself to bright light at the wrong time, then you could make the problem worse. It really all depends on what direction you travel, as traveling east means you want to avoid light as long as possible while traveling west means you need to expose yourself to light later in the day before bed to keep yourself up.
Try a Mini-Fast
You probably haven’t been looking forward to that airline food anyway, have you? Researchers at Harvard Medical School say you can skip it! Not eating on the way to your destination can help your body clock adjust faster. Eat a nutritious meal before you leave and then try to fast throughout your flight (but keep drinking water!); eat a normal meal once you arrive. It might help you to reset your internal clock since there's a big connection between meal time and time zones!
Traveling is exciting but being so tired you can’t keep your eyes open that first day certainly isn’t! There are strategies you can use to combat jet lag, so give these a try and see if it allows you to adjust faster to your new surroundings so the fun can begin!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Woodbury, Minn.