Jetlag and Travel
This is the uncomfortable aftermath of a long flight through several time zones. It is caused by the individual’s daily rhythm of activity becoming out of phase with the "real" time at their destination.
The traveller experiences fatigue, disorientation, sleep difficulties, impaired concentration & physical performance, anxiety, loss of appetite & constipation.
Jet lag will usually disappear within about three days after arrival. There are, however a number of ways to minimise the impact:
* Start the journey in as relaxed a state as possible. Ensure a good sleep the night before flying, allow plenty of time to get to the airport.
* Plan a stopover if possible; try to arrange the itinerary so that you are flying into the night.
* If possible avoid making important commitments for the first 24 hours after arrival at destination. This applies especially to people who are required to make important decisions. Judgement could be impaired by the time change so, for better performance allow some time to recover.
DURING THE FLIGHT
* Fluids: Reduce alcohol & coffee to a minimum. Minimise dehydration by drinking two or three glasses of water per sector. Carbonated drinks cause bloating through expansion of stomach gases on descent
* Food: Eat only when hungry & even miss a meal or two. Eat the lighter, more digestible parts of your meal & avoid fatty foods & rich carbohydrate foods.
* Dress: Wear loose clothing, long skirts or comfortable trousers, light sweaters. Avoid girdles or restrictive clothing. Wear comfortable shoes & take them off in flight. Circulation hose are advisable for those at risk of developing clots in the calf veins, people who are overweight, or who smoke or are taking the oral contraceptive pill.
* Sleep: Try to sleep on longer sections of the flight. Close the blinds, wear an eye mask & ask for a pillow.
* Activity: Take regular walks around the plane & exercise at airport stops. Keep feet up when resting & exercise by flexing major muscles of legs. Rest without napping during daylight sectors.
* Special body care: Frequently wet face & eyes. Use moisturizers to reduce feeling of dehydration. People with contact lenses should carry a lens case & saline solution in case of drying out.
* Ear or sinus pain can occur when flying with a cold. The discomfort can be minimised by using a nasal decongestant spray prior to take off & landing.
* Constipation: A mild laxative can be useful to assist getting your bowels used to the new local time.