As if the long, tiring flight from one continent to the other wasn’t enough, but you also have the time difference. Many of us know the typical symptoms of so-called Jet lag: tiredness, insomnia, lack of concentration and mood swings. That can spoil the start of your holiday, right?
It is said, that the inner body rhythm will change and that depending on the time difference of the time zone you fly over, you should expect to need from half a day to a day to adapt to the time zone. It doesn’t matter if it happens on your way to your holiday or on the way home either way, jet lag is always annoying! Now to deal with the well-known phenomenon of jet lag, because I too, as your Holidayguru who also travels around the world, try to make travelling as nice and comfortable as possible. It’s clear that jet lag can’t simply be fixed from one moment to the next, but with some tips and tricks the typical symptoms can be eased – I have tried a few myself! And with the effects of Viagra against jet lag, I wouldn’t deprive you of it!
First of all, it is important how far away the destination is, because the typical jet lag symptoms can vary depending on the direction of the flight. If you fly from London in the direction of USA to, let’s say New York, it is easier for the body to get used to the time difference. This is because: when you arrive the US time will be around 4pm where as London will be 9pm. So in the West you get given a little extra time. Therefore it is easier and better to stay awake and then fall fast asleep at the local time version of ‘bed time’.
However, if you are travelling East to Tokyo, for example, it’s a lot more difficult because the day is shorter and you lose time. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that in Asia it is more difficult to get used to the new rhythm than when travelling to the USA. The body is simply transported to a different time zone but the inner rhythm continues as usual. If you are going to travel to the East, I recommend that you go to bed early and get up early the days before you leave for your holiday. In the West it’s the opposite, go to sleep later and, if possible, get up late. That way you can prevent a few symptoms.
Helpful Tips for Jet Lag
Adjust the time – a simple yet helpful tip: if your clock is already adjusted to the appropriate time of the destination, you can then mentally adjust to the new time. When you arrive, it is possible that you won’t feel how late it is in your homeland as some things are purely mental and it is not particularly beneficial to get used to the change of time.
Adjust eating to your destination time: as soon as you arrive in the new time zone and have already changed your watch, try to get used to the new eating times. If your remembers your normal eating times, try your best to just have a small meal. You should then plan the right meals according to the typical eating times of your new destination.
Carbohydrates or protein – depending on the destination: another important thing when coping with jet lag is the choice of food you eat. As a general rule, you should eat carbohydrates (fruit, potatoes, pasta, rice) as these make you tired quicker. When travelling West it is advised that you eat foods high in protein (fish, cheese, meat, eggs, dairy products) and caffeine drinks to combat the need to sleep. Drinking a lot of water doesn’t help with jet lag, but it does support the body’s reactions. As far as alcohol is concerned, it has the total opposite effect, so it is best to avoid it!
Lots of sunlight and fresh air: if you are feeling particularly during the daytime and would prefer to just sleep – I know a nap is always tempting – but instead you should sunbathe and spend a lot of time outdoors. Sunlight can stop the sleep hormone melatonin, which in the evening, ensures that we are tired. You should only sleep when the sun has gone down.
Medication: A very important topic is medication, which should be taken regularly. It is recommended that you consult your doctor or pharmacist to get the right dose for the time zone you are in to to avoid any unwanted symptoms. As for sleeping pills, I would advice you against it since they promote sleep but don’t have any effect in changing the body’s function so only have a short term effect.
Important for business travelers – schedule meetings at the right time: if you are only in the particular destination for a business meeting, then it is advisable that you plan the meeting at a time you think you will be most awake. i.e for destinations in the West it would be best to have meetings in the morning, and in the East have them in the later in the day.
Postpone strenuous activities to the next day: Once you arrive at your holiday destination, depending on where it is, you will want to get started and experience as much as possible. However, if you are going to stay for a few days then you should try and postpone strenuous activities by one or two days as these will only make you unnecessarily tired and extend the changeover people. If possible, take it easy!
Viagra as a drug against jet lag?
You always hear it here and there: the potency drug Viagra is supposed to fight the symptoms of jet lag. Yeah, so just like you, I also looked. And no, I have of course not tried it out! But what is the reason for this rumour? The purpose of this remedy is probably already know by most of us. However, what hasn’t been proved so far, and is therefore very controversial is the claim that Viagra can help with its active ingredient sildenafil as means of fighting against jet lag. So far, as is often the case, it has only been tested on hamsters. So far, it is still unclear whether the results can be transferred to humans and non-artificial jet lag. Therefore, I advise you just keep your hands off the stuff!
The same goes for the melatonin compound which is sold in the USA as a dietary supplement and is available in nearly every supermarket. The drug can affect the hormone balance and in the UK is only available on prescription. So here, it is also better to keep your hand off this stuff!
I hope that some if not all of these tips help you with your next journey to another time zone. Maybe you have some other tips that help with jet lag? If so, I would love to hear them if you would like to drop me a comment!