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Travel Tips

Jetlag and Flying Across Time Zones - How to Prepare
By:Jeremy Foster

Jetlag can put a real damper on your travel plans, leaving you feeling sick or sluggish when you want to be active and alert. Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure jetlag can be a major concern. It is important that you know the best ways to deal with the problem. While there is no definite "cure" for jetlag, there are ways to prepare your body for your flight. You should not have to suffer throughout your entire vacation or business trip. Here are some suggestions of what you can do before a flight to try to prevent jetlag as well as after you land to help you get over it more easily.

One of the first things that you can do to try to help prevent jetlag is to make sure that you are well rested before your flight. Make sure that you get enough sleep. Another tip is to prepare your body for the time difference by imitating your new sleep schedule. This can help train your body and this helps prevent the effects of jetlag. This helps prevent your body from becoming fatigued after you arrive. If you recently had a cold or you have otherwise been sick, you should make sure that you are treating it as best you can. Although this seems like the obvious option, a cold or another illness can make your flight much worse due to the change in air pressure. If you do have to fly with a cold, make sure that you have plenty of decongestants to help alleviate this sinus pressure.

Something else that you can do before you fly to help prevent jetlag is to make sure that you are dressed comfortably in loose-fitting clothes. This helps prevent circulation problems as well provides extra comfort throughout the flight. Being uncomfortable can lead to stress and stress can cause your jetlag to be much worse. A brief bit of exercise before your flight or during layovers can help prevent some of the effects of jetlag. Exercise also helps keep your blood circulating and allows you to break the monotony of sitting in one place for extended periods of time.

Eating healthy before your flight is something that you should consider. Healthy eating provides many benefits for your body especially before a long flight; you should eat a meal that is high in protein and carbohydrates. Also, make sure that you are well hydrated with liquids such as juice or water. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated beverages, as these can lead to dehydration, which can make your jetlag worse.

If you begin to feel the effects of jetlag after upon arrival at your destination, there are a few methods of relieving this effect. Taking an over-the-counter pain and headache medicine such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help relieve a headache. These medicines are also great at reducing some of the fatigue and body pains that you might feel after a very long flight. You can also take supplements of vitamin C, vitamin B, and potassium to help combat the jetlag. You can be feeling normal again in no time at all. Remember to stay hydrated with water or juice and to avoid caffeine and alcohol until you are feeling better.

One thing that you should avoid taking when feeling the effects of jetlag is a sleep aid. While sleep can help you to adjust your biological clock to the new time zone, artificial sleep aids can make you feel much worse. It is best to adjust the temperature and light in your room to make an environment that is more conducive to deep sleep, though if you absolutely must take something to help you sleep, you might consider a melatonin supplement or other natural remedy. Melatonin is a part of the body's natural sleep cycle and using it as a sleep aid should not provide you with the same negative effects that other sleep aids might have.

Next time you are preparing for a long flight, there are many ways to eliminate or reduce the effects of jetlag. Jetlag is caused by a change in time zone, which throws off your internal clock. Prepare you body for the new time zone by going to sleep at the equivalent time as your destination. Along with this preparation, you should start eating healthier as this can provide you body with nutrients that you need to help fight off the effects of jetlag. Along with eating healthy, you should only drink juice or water as this can also benefit your body before a flight. Alcohol, caffeine and carbonated beverages may have a negative effect on your jetlag causing you to feel much worse. These tips should help you significantly next time you are planning a long flight and you can enjoy your vacation without feeling ill from jetlag.

Jeremy Foster is a freelance writer who writes about topics and tips involving the travel industry and vacation deals, often discussing specific subjects such as hotels and cheap flights. http://www.flightcentre.ca/flights/

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