YOU Magazine - May 2012 - No More Jet Lag Tips for Traveling Through Time Zones
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Brent Prockish     Brent Prockish
Brent Prockish Team at Total Lending Concepts
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Brent Prockish Team at Total Lending Concepts
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No More Jet Lag
Tips for Traveling Through Time Zones

No More Jet Lag - Tips for Traveling Through Time Zones

With the weather getting warmer, many of us will soon be boarding planes and heading to far off destinations. For those who have experienced traveling to a different time zone, you are probably familiar with the aftermath known as jet lag. The good news is we can help you reduce, if not get rid of these negative side effects. Read on to find out how.

Our bodies operate via Circadian rhythms, which are nothing more than the 24-hour cycle of our biochemical, physiological, and behavioral processes. Traveling from one time zone to another disrupts these rhythms and confuses our internal clock. When this happens our bodies react in different ways.

For most people, it starts with their sleep pattern. Unable to fall asleep or wake up at normal time, fatigue begins to set in. At that point, further symptoms can include disorientation, headaches, lightheadedness, dehydration, digestive issues, impaired coordination, and swollen hands and feet. Sounds great, huh?

Help has arrived as we have compiled a list of tips that have been shown to reduce the affects of jet lag. Put them into practice and you'll see what we mean.

Get your sleep
A few days prior to your trip, begin to adjust your bedtime (an hour a day) in order to more closely match your sleep schedule at your destination. This is especially important if you are traveling west to east, as you will be losing time. Do whatever you can to ensure restful sleep during the nights leading up to your trip.

Take care of yourself
In addition to getting good sleep during the days leading up to your trip, you should also be eating well, exercising, and managing your stress level. All of these behaviors promote more effective circadian adaptation.

Drink plenty of water
Many experts believe that dehydration, due to the extremely low humidity levels (2 to 3 percent) on airplanes, is one of the leading causes of jet lag. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight.

In addition, try to avoid drinking alcohol or anything with caffeine, as both will only increase dehydration.

Relax on the plane
Once your airplane reaches cruising altitude, head to the restroom if you need to. Then head back to your seat, remove or loosen your shoes, and settle in.

Also, reset your watch to match the time at your destination. From this point forward do the best you can to adapt to your new time zone. If it's daytime there, stay awake. If it's nighttime, try to sleep.

If you are someone who has trouble sleeping on planes, the purchase of a travel pillow, eye mask, and earplugs or noise-canceling earphones are worthy investments. Wearing comfortable clothing will also help.

Eat lightly
Digestion is a big issue when it comes to jet lag, so help out your system and eat lightly. One trick is to call the airline prior to arriving at the airport and order one of their specialty meals such as a vegetarian or diet plate. Besides, who wants to fill up on airplane food when there's probably great food to be found at your destination?

Exercise on the airplane
That's right. You need to exercise on the plane in order promote good circulation. Stretching your back, arms and legs, as well as walking up and down the aisles a few times are good places to start. Squeezing a rubber ball will help the circulation in your arms and hands. While sitting in your chair, raising your knee and flexing your foot will do the same for your lower appendages.

Adapt on arrival
The sooner you adapt to your new schedule, the better off you will be. From eating and sleeping to exercise and relaxation, do it at the appropriate times at your destination. If a nap is needed, keep it to less than 45 minutes, as anything longer will affect your nighttime sleep.

Expose yourself to 15 minutes of sunlight (without sunglasses) as soon as possible upon arrival. The effect of sunlight on our circadian rhythms is dramatic. Going without it for a prolonged period of time while on the plane is bad enough, so make it a priority as soon as you arrive.

We've given you our best advice. Follow it and you'll definitely notice an improvement in the jet lag department. One last tip–enjoy your vacation!

Total Lending Concepts NMLS #1043976 (Corporate) #2348348 (KS Branch) 6900 College Blvd., Suite 800, Overland Park, KS, 66211 (KS Office) 219 E Broadway, Columbia, MO. 65203 (MO Office)

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