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Jet Lag: Some tips from The Wise Herb Co…

October 12, 2012

Anyone who has ever travelled across several time zones knows that when your internal clock is unable to adapt to a change in the light-dark cycle the result is jet lag. The symptoms count among themselves as fatigue and mood changes. Its not always a simple case of going to bed earlier the night before or staying up depending on which way around the globe you are going.

Socorro… tengo un viaje largo y tengo miedo al Jet Lag

Some simple steps can minimise jet lag.

(i) Understand that the direction you are traveling makes a difference:

We have have an internal body clock that makes it harder to travel east.

A study led by Dr. Lawrence D. Recht, a neurologist, of 19 Major League Baseball teams using season records from 1991 to 1993 showed that the team that had just completed eastward travel would give up more than one run than usual in every game.

You will have to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier than you normally would. This is known as advancing your body clock. If you’re traveling west, you’ll have to adapt to the new time by waking up later than usual and going to bed later than usual, delaying your body clock. Easier said than done. If you need a boost in energy to keep you awake or need to relax to sleep then UP&GO and CALM&RELAX natural infusions could help respectively. Not forgetting that travelling (especially in a plane) can be stressfull and CALM&RELAX could help with anxiety too!

(ii) Expose yourself to light when needed and avoid it when necessary:

You must regulate your exposure to light — both natural and artificial — and darkness. Light is the primary environmental cue telling your body’s clock when to sleep and when to wake, controlling jet lag is fundamentally about controlling light and darkness.

So, if you are traveling east, you must expose yourself to light early, advancing your body clock so that it will be in sync with the new time zone. Conversely, if traveling west, you should expose yourself to light at dusk and the early part of the evening, delaying your body clock so that it will be in sync with the new time zone.

Going east may mean using eye masks & earplugs if you are travelling east late. Also helping to doze could be achieved with a soothing CALM&RELAX infusion.

For example if you lived in New York and were taking a morning flight to London you would want to expose yourself to light throughout the flight as well as when you land in London, soaking up as much sun as possible all day. This may also entail helping to give your bodily systems a natural boost with UP&GO to keep going.  Additionally UP&GO will help strengthen your immune system.  As we know traveling is a notorious way to catch colds and other 24 hour bugs.

Nighttime light may not be good for health

(iii) The first night is the worst:

Avoid alcohol. You may think it helps but that it can interrupt later stages of sleep, which worsen the effects of jet lag. And eat well…no spicey local food. After a couple of nights of good rest getting some exercise may be an ideal way to burn some energy and destress – just don’t overdo it!

If you are going east, for the first few nights close then blinds or curtains and remove as much light as you can (e.g. TV, Computer etc). Light will make you more alert and reset your internal clock to the wrong time, making you think the day has begun. Also natural infusion CALM&RELAX will help you get off to sleep.

Useful Reading:

Healthy Sleep 

CALM&RELAX sleep and GABA

UP&GO Boosts Energy & Immunity

Managing Stress with The Wise Herb Co.

L-Theanine from Green Tea: Reduces Stress and Anxiety 

UP&GO may help too with sleep pattern (see MEN’S HEALTH article on how exercise helps)

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