“I travel a lot. What can I do to deal with jet lag? “
–Flying in Seattle
Dr Allegra says….
Traveling across time zones can be a huge stress on your body. Losing or gaining large amounts of time in a short period can mess with your circadian rhythm, push your blood sugar out of balance, and throw off your sleep patterns. Luckily there’re some natural ways to help you rebound more quickly. Of course, nothing is going to make this transition seamless, but there’re many natural tools you can apply to make the transition easier.
Set yourself up for success by planning. If you can make the time try to leave a couple of days before and after your trip to allow yourself to adjust. Of course the larger of the time difference from your destinations the longer it will take for you to settle in and find balance.
During your travel make sure you stay hydrated. Many people will stop drinking water because they don’t want to be “running to the bathroom all the time”. Dehydration will slow your body’s ability to find balance so try not to throw that obstacle into the mix.
After traveling for a long time it can be really enticing just sleep as soon as you arrive, but this is not the best option if it is daytime at your destination. Try to stay up until night falls. The quicker you shift into your current time zone the easier the adjustment will be. So if you arrive at 9 o’clock in the morning, try to stay awake until at least eight that evening.
Get outside and move around. Go out and play in the sunshine, if it’s there, and get some exercise during the day. This will help work out any stiffness that may have occurred during your travel and the increased blood flow will help you feel less fatigued.
Right before you go to bed take some natural supplements to help you sleep more fully. Some good options are things like GABA, 5-HTP, melatonin, and relaxing herbs such as Linden Blossom, passion flower, Lemon balm, and chamomile.
Try to sleep or at very least rest through the whole night. If you find that you wake up in the middle of the night, try meditation to help you relax further. Even if this does not put you back to sleep you will least get out of bed calmer and more rejuvenated then if you had turned on your computer or phone to play online.
Do the same thing when you come back home as well. These recommendations do not mean that you will eliminate all jet lag but, they will help you transition more quickly and with less stress.
If you have a question for Dr. Allegra you would like considered, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “The Doctor Is In Question”.