Anyone who takes long haul flights especially to destinations like Australia from places like the US, Africa and Europe will understand the debilitating symptoms that may occur as a result of jet lag. The symptoms of jet lag can often include sleep interruption, dehydration, muscle pain, headaches, nausea, fatigue, thirst and constipation.
One of the challenges with jet lag is that one's natural body clock is disrupted leading to interrupted messages throughout the nervous system. As your body resets night and day, there are some easy strategies that can help to make modifications faster and the symptoms of jet lag fewer.
1 - Hydration
Typically the cabin pressure environment in an aircraft is about 4%. If you have ever accidentally spilled a glass of water in flight, you will probably recall that the spill dried up incredibly fast. While drinking water in flight is essential, as soon as you arrive at your destination it's important to super hydrate and drink lots of fresh filtered water. For adults many experts suggest at least 2 litres per day.
2 - Move joints
Checking the flexibility and joint movement in your neck, arms, legs and spine can be critical in your recovery from a long haul flight. Often, during long periods cramped in your airline seat, joints may lose their mobility and become stuck. By gently increasing joint movement after a flight you will start to increase the flow of energy throughout your body. Simple stretches are a good start.
3 - Eat fresh foods
The nutrient content in fresh foods such as salads and fruit is often a great remedy for combating the effects of jet lag. It's important though to have a healthy, clean source of fresh foods. If you are in a destination where fresh food quality could be an issue then opt for the most nutrient dense packaged foods you can find. Instead of potato chips and sugar snacks, perhaps opt for canned vegetables or canned fruits in natural juice.
4 - Align Sleep Patterns
As soon as you are able align your sleep patterns to the time zone you are in. Even if you will only be in the time zone for a few days, it is helpful for your body clock to recognise night and day. Aids such as lavender filled eye pillows, camomile tea, meditation tracks on an iPod, relaxation exercises that involve resting and feeling one limb at a time become as heavy as possible may help. On the other hand during the day a brisk walk, resuming normal exercise activities, eating meals on schedule, putting some lime essential oil on a tissue and having gentle inhalation of the scent, breathing deeply and spending time in natural light may also help.
5 - Check your Nervous System
Nerve interference caused by a subluxation may inhibit recovery from jet lag. A subluxation may occur during travel and the incidence may also increase due to a change in regular activities such as sitting for long periods, sitting in cramped places, sleeping in a different bed while you are away, using a different pillow and the like. Chiropractic care coogee can help to gently remove nerve interference by restoring movement to joints that may be locked. Other activities including massage and acupuncture may also be beneficial.
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