4 Natural Cures for Jet Lag

The lethargy, fatigue, and moodiness associated with jet lag can make the first days of any trip almost unbearable. Even though it's a temporary disorder, jet lag can throw your internal clock for a loop which can make it difficult for you to bounce back.

Why It Occurs

Jet lag occurs after traveling long distances. Let's say you're traveling from San Francisco to London. The body's circadian rhythm, also known as your internal clock, needs to adjust to the eight hour time difference. If you arrive at 7:00 p.m. in London, your body still feels as if it's 11:00 a.m. The new time zone may be difficult for the body to adjust to resulting in a variety of symptoms that includes, but is not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Dehydration
  • Headache
  • Memory loss

What You Can Do About It

Most travelers submit to jet lag as if it's an inevitable part of their trip. But this doesn't have to be the case. Following these tips will allow your body to overcome and cope with flight fatigue:

1. Stay fit. If you're already in good physical shape and eat well, your body is already better prepared to handle the rigors of time change.

2. Adjust your schedule. According to a study on overcoming jet lag published by the New England Journal of Medicine and reported by MSNBC.com, napping frequently at short intervals during the first days of your vacation will help regulate your circadian clock.

3. Take natural medications. The same study found that forcing yourself to sleep with the natural sleep agent melatonin or forging ahead and staying awake with the aid of caffeine will reset your body's rhythms. Keep in mind, however, that caffeine may exacerbate any dehydration you may be experiencing as a result of your trip. So stay hydrated.

4. Adjust beforehand. If possible, begin your adjustment to time changes prior to travel. You can do this by going to sleep and waking earlier, or the opposite. Slowly work your way toward mirroring the time difference in the new location.




Feeling groggy? Simple cures for jet lag