Flights, particularly long-haul flights, can play havoc with the health of the human body. Crossing over time zones as you fly to far off lands can leave you feeling exhausted. Jet lag can be a pain just as you want to start your holiday all fresh and ready for fun. An expert from US academic medical centre the Mayo Clinic has revealed one way Travellers can help beat it.
Dr Clayton T. Cowl, Chair of Mayo Clinic’s Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine, advises against drinking alcohol on long-haul flights.
“Avoid dehydration by taking in fluids and avoiding alcohol or excessive caffeine,” he told Express.co.uk.
This alone will not help totally beat jet lag, however – in fact, the condition can never be totally avoided.
“Unfortunately, the human body is set up with its own internal clock that probably has not evolved to the point where jet lag can be avoided completely,” said Cowl.
“However, there is significant individual variation with some people experiencing a slight alteration in their ability to initiate or maintain sleep, while others have significant functional limitation and mood changes.
“The good News is that in many cases, there are ways to mitigate some of the more severe effects.”
As well as steering clear of booze, Cowl shared his other tips for how to help combat jet lag.
“Think ahead and try to sleep on transoceanic flights, aiming to match times with the destination – particularly when crossing the International Date Line.
“The use of a sedative/hypnotic agent at low dose may need to be considered in some cases.”
You can also help try and fight jet lag before you’ve even left for the airport, Cowl explained.
“Gradually adjust your schedule before departure and get plenty of rest prior to overseas travel,” he advised.
“Stay on schedule at the destination city – if arriving at midday, do not take a nap immediately upon arrival but instead, try to stay awake and alert during the day and head to bed early.
Cowl continued: “Regulate bright light exposure since it influences the body’s circadian rhythms.
“So, if you’ve travelled more than eight time zones to the east, wear sunglasses and avoid bright light in the morning, and then allow as much sunlight as possible in the late afternoon for the first few days in your new location.”
Queen Elizabeth has a rather intriguing way of tackling jet lag when she travels long haul.
According to The Independent: “For jet lag, she takes homoeopathic medicines and barley sugar.”