Jet lag is a syndrome of tiredness, headaches, disorientation, stomach upset and a feeling of being unwell. The main cause of this is crossing time zones on long-distance overseas flights. This results in your body's hormones telling you that you should be asleep during the day and awake at night. Unfortunately there is little you can do about this. Despite this there are several other factors which contribute, some of which you can reduce the impact of. These include poor quality rest and sleep, changed diet and dehydration. What can you do to reduce the effect of these?
1) Flying ear plugs. There are many reasons people may not sleep well on a flight, including uncomfortable seats, flying at night and noise. There is little you can do about the first two but you can certainly protect yourself against noise.
Aircraft cabins would be loud places except that the sound of the engines is blocked using a clever idea. Microphones on the wings play the noise back in the cabin through speakers with a tiny delay. This cancels out the sound (the peaks in the sound wave cancel out the troughs). This can help minimize fatigue and prevent jet lag. Unfortunately you're still left with the howl of the air-con unit and the man in the seat behind you chuckling frantically at 'The Simpsons'.
According to a file from the Flight Safety Foundation by Stanley R. Mohler 'High noise levels on ramps and in flight can contribute to fatigue'. Blocking noise and vibration from your ears with a good set of flying ear plugs helps prevent jet lag and reduce fatigue by helping you get some rest.
The white noise present in the cabins of aeroplanes can have an agitating effect on long flights. Blocking it from your ears can reduce fatigue by helping you rest. Flying ear plugs have to be comfortable and effective. If you fly routinely it is worth thinking about getting yourself some molded ZenPlugs flying ear plugs to prevent jet lag. These are more comfortable and last longer.
2) Choose food carefully. You are much better off with a light diet. Eat little and often to prevent overeating which may make you feel more tired and will reduce the quality of your sleep. Consider taking your own food with you, particularly if you have special dietary requirements. Many airlines now allow you to opt out of the in-flight meal in return for a reduction in your ticket price. It might be better to do this and take food which you will find tasty and easy to digest.
3) Avoid caffeine and alcohol. These will both affect your sleep pattern. Caffeine will keep you awake when you should be sleeping. Alcohol, although helping you fall asleep, prevents you entering a deep sleep and so leaves you feeling tired when you wake up. You are much better off avoiding tea, coffee, alcoholic drinks and fizzy drinks which contain caffeine. Choose water or fruit juice instead.
If you follow these three simple tips you will reduce the effects of jet lag. Enjoy your trip!
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