HOW TO REDUCE JET LAG
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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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Anti jet lag diet
Another complicated method is the anti jet lag diet. 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. If you're interested, click here for jet lag diet information
Some people use sleeping tablets to try to alleviate jet lag. 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.".
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