Anyone who has flown a long-haul flight knows just how bad jet-lag can be. Having done an Australia to Europe crossing (and back) every year from 1999 until 2005, I’ve had more than my fair share of a week of waking up at 1am, absolutely unable to sleep, and then collapsing the following day around 2pm.
The good news is that researchers have found one of the contributing factors to post-flight fatigue is swollen ankles and that by wearing tights could go some way to alleviating the problem.
Unfortunately, this still won’t help with the major time shifts that your body is subjected to when dragged halfway across the planet in such short time, so what other options are available?
My personal jet-lag routine is to dose-up on caffeine when I arrive at my destination, spend as much time outside in sunlight as I can, and try to fight off the urge to sleep in the late afternoon. Sleeping tablets, or those herbal tablets that result in drowsiness can help with lying awake in the middle of the night, but can also result in grogginess the next morning.
Another option is melatonin tablets. I tried these once, and they seemed to help, but there are questions over certain adverse health affects that they might have, and furthermore, they’re illegal in some countries.
What do you do to combat jet-lag?
After flying overnight from the US to Europe, I force myself to stay awake until after dinner the first day (by staying as active as possible), and then get a nice solid night’s sleep. That first day isn’t always fun, but this method seems to get me back on the local schedule the quickest.
Luckily I don’t get very jetlagged going the other way. 🙂
Hi Jul, yeah, it’s definitely not fun. One of the people I work with has just jetted off from here in Melbourne to Ireland – for just a week. I’d hate to think what such a trip would do to my body; 24 hours on a plane, a week of jetlag and then, just as it starts to go away, bundling oneself back onto a plane for another 24 hours back again.