The Absolute Best Cure for Jet Lag
August 28, 2013
By Sarah Schwager
The Absolute Best Cure for Jet Lag
There is nothing worse than saving for and planning the perfect holiday only to be crippled by jet lag for the first week. Not to mention returning to work with a pounding head, shaking limbs and burning, tired eyes.

After years of travelling, and more recently frequently tackling the 13-14 hour time difference between Australia and Argentina, I have finally worked out the best cure for jet lag.

And best of all, the cure is completely natural, and doesn't involve a concoction of sleeping pills and paracetamol to get you through the day and night.

What exactly is Jet Lag?

Jet lag is an interruption in your body's regular rhythm caused by crossing time zones. It can be a great shock to the system and can cause alternating bouts of sleepiness during the day and insomnia at night.

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally in your brain's pineal gland and is critical in regulating your body's sleep/awake pattern. Melatonin adjusts your blood temperature and helps your body to become drowsy when it is time to sleep. But when you cross several time zones, your circadian rhythm is forced to adjust and it can take time for your body to adjust its production of melatonin.

In order to beat jet lag quicker, we recommend you take the following steps to make your holiday more pleasant:

Steps to Beating Jet Lag

1. Boost your immune system

Before you travel, make sure your immune system is strong. Stay away from fried foods and sugar, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Take lots of vitamin C and add garlic, probiotics and other immune boosting foods to your diet. The same goes for during the flight and after you arrive.

2. Drink plenty of water

Keep well hydrated, particularly during the flight. Stay away from alcohol and sugary drinks. Keeping hydrated is one of the most important jet lag combatants.

3. Take Melatonin supplements to help with jet lag

Melatonin, which is normally produced naturally in your body, is incredibly important in order to get to sleep. However, when you are suffering from jet lag, the production of melatonin in your body is interrupted. Take 2 or 3 tablets of a good quality low dose brand of melatonin about half an hour before bedtime to help your body become sleepy. If you find yourself waking during the night you might need to take an extra dose. Some people believe you should start taking melatonin at least 3 days before you travel however I find it works best if you start taking melatonin after you arrive for at least the first 3 nights.

4. Go to bed and wake up at the same time

Regulating your sleeping patterns is incredibly important to recover quickly from jet lag. As much as you may want to sleep during the day, it is better to wait until the evening. But make sure you aren't staying out late for the first couple of nights as this will confuse your body even further. If you are really struggling, it is best to have a short siesta in the early afternoon rather than later in the day.

5. Go for a walk on the grass

If you can, go for a walk barefoot on the grass or sand for at least 15 minutes each day. This will give you a rush of energy and soothe many of the discomforts that are symptoms of jet lag, such as headache, aching muscles and tired eyes.

6. Go outdoors during the day

Being exposed to daylight is possibly the most important aspect of treating jet lag. Try to go outside and soak in the sun during the day as much as possible. This will help prevent your body from producing melatonin which can make you sleepy and groggy during the day, instead allowing the release of melatonin to be triggered at night after the sun goes down.
"Being exposed to daylight is possibly the most important aspect of treating jet lag. This will help prevent your body from producing melatonin during the day."