People with jet lag have their sleep-wake patterns disturbed and have also experienced physical stress from the changes in air pressure during travel. They may feel drowsy, tired, irritable, lethargic and slightly disoriented. Spend as much time as you can while traveling with your eyes closed and relaxing. Even if you can’t sleep, the rest will help decrease your travel stress.
To re-set the sleep-wake pattern, stand facing the sun (make sure your eyes are protected and you are sunburn protected) for 10-15 minutes so that you get a healthy dose of sunlight. This simply resets your night time melatonin and makes sure it’s not activated to make you sleepy during the day.
Drink magnesium citrate powder mixed with hot or cold water – this is an anti-stress mineral and sleep aid that will help you relax and recover and get a good nights sleep to further help you re-set your sleep-wake pattern. You can take small travel size sealed packets and pour one into your water bottle and sip throughout the flight.
Compression socks and/or pants will also help with improved blood circulation in your legs and feet. Use them during the day or sleep in them for one or two nights.
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND