With record numbers expected to travel to Europe and other areas around the world this summer, travelers are seeking for solutions to deal with the dreaded daytime fatigue, grogginess, and disturbed sleep that is known as jet lag. People who cross several time zones usually find that the changes in surroundings and environment can disrupt their internal clocks and wreak havoc on the body. Beyond difficulty sleeping and tiredness during the day, other jet lag symptoms include irritability, difficulty focusing, headaches, nausea, and upset stomach. Fortunately, advanced and natural solutions to combat jet lag exist, and the pain of traveling across multiple time-zones can be considerably eased.
Getting to the Cause –
Jet lag, medically referred to as desynchronosis and or circadian dysrhythmia, is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east–west or west–east) travel on high-speed aircraft. It’s a condition that’s related to our biorhythms and circadian rhythm, a biological process which is part of the brain and essential for a number of processes including hormonal balance.
Quick changes in our environment and surroundings, such as the times we normally receive light (sunrise) and darkness (sunset), influence sleeping patterns and effectively “desynchronize” rhythmic cycles. This can throw our bodies into a temporary state of chaos that cause those unwanted symptoms associated with jet lag.
The key to understanding the root cause of jet lag lies in the cycles that have been desynchronized through quick changes experienced during travel. Cycles play a crucial role in signaling biological processes and sustaining good health. Combating desynchronization caused by traveling on a jet plane rests in resynchronizing our biological and circadian rhythms as quickly as possible while traveling.
“It takes the brain several days or more to change its inherent cycle and phase in with a new night and day in the new destination. Trying to budge the circadian clock can be hard to do.”
Dr. Robert Rosenberg, Sleep Disorders Center of Prescott Valley, Prescott, Arizona
A Natural Jet Lag Solution
Here’s a doctor recommended natural jet lag solution:
Begin Adaptation – Shifting Your Bedtime
Starting to change your regular bedtime prior to your trip will allow your body to not feel as desynchronized upon your arrival to a new time zone. The more you can minimize the impact of jet lag, the better.
Implementation Plan: 3 days prior to leaving for your destination, learn the time difference. Shift your bedtime by an hour or two in the right direction. Even if you can’t fall asleep right away, resting in darkness will begin to relay signals to your body that will allow for a change in your biological rhythmic activity.
Hydrate – Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration worsens the symptoms of jet lag, so remember to stay hydrated. Traveling by air is known to cause mild dehydration, so begin drinking water prior to your flight.
Implementation Plan: Drink water before, during, and after your flight to counteract dehydration. Aim for 10-12 glasses per day. Avoid alcohol or caffeine during your travel and resynchronization time. Alcohol and caffeine can disrupt sleep and may cause dehydration.
Adopt the New Time – Set Your Watches and Mentally Accept the New Time
It is essential you adopt the new time of the location you will be traveling to and resist thinking thoughts such as, “It’s 4am where I’m from, but it’s noon here…I’m so tired.” Let go of the time back home, and tell yourself it is exactly the time of the new location. There is a large mental aspect to jet lag, and the more you can overcome the idea that you are still on another time where you should be sleeping when the sun is at it’s high point, the less impact jet lag will have on your body.
Implementation Plan: Even before landing, reset your watch, cell phone, and anything showing you time; begin thinking and planning according to the new time zone.
Time Your Light Exposure – Daylight at the Right Time will Accelerate Resynchronization
Timing exposure to light is the best way to resynchronize your circadian rhythms, according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine by Dr. Robert Sack of Oregon’s Health and Science University. This means allowing the body to be exposed to the correct light that aligns with your destination. Light is an essential component of jet lag, and ensuring the body receives certain light frequencies are what greatly control hormonal balance during times of environmental change such as traveling long distances.
Implementation Plan: While still on the flight, begin utilizing light therapy. If the flight takes place while it is nighttime at your destination, utilize amber glasses, especially if the airplane does not turn off the lights. Artificial lighting and electronics emit light of a blue wavelength, which tricks our brains into thinking that it is daytime. Amber lights or glasses effectively block all blue light, so your brain doesn’t get the signal that it is supposed to stay awake. Conversely, if it is daytime at your destination while flying yet the flight is taking place overnight, try a light-therapy app while working on your computer, such as f.lux. This free software allows you to make your computer screen change shades according to the time, meaning allowing more blue light to illuminate your screen during daytime hours. This also allows you to practice some form of light therapy without disrupting your flying neighbor. Finally, when landing, avoid the temptation to stay in your hotel, and make sure to go out and receive daylight to really optimize the resynchronization process and combat jet lag.
Biological Medicines to Resynchronize Your Biorhythms
Unlike supplements such as melatonin, or drinking large amounts of caffeine to stay awake, there are natural remedies that aim to resynchronize the body’s biorhythms and circadian rhythms to a new environment. Rhythm therapy, or chronobiological therapy, utilizes advanced European biological medicines that support natural processes that regulate the body’s ability to re-synchronize with proper biorhythms and circadian rhythm. Therefore, providing the correct information and bioregulatory impulses, not supplementation, regulate and restore these biological rhythms to their natural state. The results are a much quicker adaptation of the body to a different time zone, with improved day time energy and regular sleep patterns as you travel.
Implementation Plan: Ask your practitioner if they have access to European biological medicines which act both on the waking / sympathetic (solar) nervous system activation, as well as resting parasympathetic (lunar) nervous system activation. Whether homeopathic or spagyric, there are different options that your practitioner can prescribe. Then, starting approximately 3-5 days before you plan to travel, begin taking these medicines in the morning and night, and continue to do so while traveling, and after traveling for an additional 3-5 days. Most that utilize this simple chronobiological treatment report a great reduction in jet lag symptoms and a much quicker adaptation to their new time zone, allowing them to enjoy their vacation rested and energized.
Like this article?
Sign up to [ninja-popup id= 20498]subscribe to email alerts[/ninja-popup] and you’ll never miss a beat.
Innovative Medicine is about restoring your body and mind’s power to heal itself. Learn how to tap into your unique healing potential by signing up for our newsletter.