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Jet lag is caused by a disruption to the body’s “circadian rhythm”, the body’s 24-hour cycle responsible for the physical and mental changes, which is highly influenced by daylight.
It is usually experienced after long-distance flights, crossing different time zones and travelling east.
Symptoms can include insomnia, drowsiness, muscle pain, difficulty concentrating or irritability.
Expedia.ca shared the top nine tips to naturally cure jet lag.
Spend the day outside
Exposure to daylight is a powerful way of regulating your biological clock. Ideally, travellers want to be outside between 8am and 9am.
Exercising in the early morning or late afternoon revitalises the body and helps reset the body clock. Travellers should avoid exercising too close to bedtime as this can cause disruption.
Wear ‘re-timer’ glasses
These are specialised glasses which emit a soft green light into the eyes to help regulate the 24-hour body clock.
Nap for up to 20 minutes
A minimum of four hours sleep at night is recommended with additional naps to help travellers reach their regular daily sleep requirement.
Use earplugs and an eye mask
Cutting light and noise distractions is essential in order to get a night of quality sleep to reset the internal clock.
Drink natural tea
A natural brew helps recharge the body and mind in the morning. At night, however, chamomile, lavender or valerian will help nod off.
Taking a cold shower in the evening and a warm one in the morning
This is in order to release melatonin, the sleep regulation hormone, as it can be triggered by temperature changes in the body.
Avoid alcohol and coffee before bed
Stimulants such as alcohol and coffee will be an additional disruption to the traveller’s already confusing system.
If it is one or two days trip, do nothing
On short trips, travellers should maintain the mealtimes and light exposure that corresponds to the time of day back home. This prevents an unnecessary yoyo effect when travelling back and forth.
Flight attendant Dan Air commented: “Heaven knows, the skies are a cruel enough place to endure without peculiar primal side-effects kicking in every time you take a flight of more than a couple of hours.
“Why the human beast happened to be cursed with the kind of circadian rhythms doesn’t concern us here.
“The miserable truth is that our bodies respond to the regularity of light in our environment, and when you start messing about with that by flying from timezone to timezone, your hormones choose to react by making you feel exhausted, worthless, barely even motivated enough to cross the room to the mini-bar.”
The crew member recommended sticking to natural remedies as the best way to combat jet lag.
He said: “It is a case of matching your new daily patterns to the local time, staying awake – and preferably in the sun – when it’s daylight, and swapping that coffee for herbal tea to ensure you get a good night’s sleep when the time is right.”
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