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Don't Let Jet Lag Ruin Your Vacation

Aug 17, 2007
If you've ever traveled across time zones for a business meeting or vacation, you might know firsthand how jet lag can affect you for days after the trip. Inability to sleep, being overtired, lethargy, headaches and loss of concentration can really put a damper on your trip. Luckily there are a few things you can do to try to minimize the effects of jet lag.

Usually, jet lag happens as a result of crossing time zones. This can affect your internal body clock where you lose or gain several hours and your body becomes disoriented as to what time it actually is.

How severe the symptoms of jet lag are usually depends on the direction you are traveling in and is found to be worse if you are traveling eastward. This is because the body rhythm is extended up to 27 hours when a person flies westward thus, the body is able to catch up with it's environmental changes. Additionally, the "circadian rhythm" is more than 24 hours when a person travels westward due to the time of the day being lengthened which gives the body more time to adjust.

Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that will "cure" jet lag, but there are some things you can do to lessen the symptoms.

1. Natural light tends to help the body adjust, so staying outdoors during the day as much as possible in your new surroundings can help you cope with jet lag. This is because your body clock will be able to adjust at a faster rate once it becomes accustomed to the new surroundings.

2. If you are traveling to an important event, try to arrive well before the event is held. This is to give your body more time to adjust and get accustomed to the area. If you are on vacation, try adding a couple of days on to allow you to adjust so you won't have to spend your precious vacation days recovering from jet lag.

3. If there will be a big time difference in your actual bedtime, try adjusting it before you leave on your trip - going to bed earlier or later to match the time zone you will be in as closely as possible.

4. It's best to start right off doing your daily activities to your new time zone instead of trying to hold on to your old time zone. Wake up in the early morning of the new time zone and eat your meals at the new time zone;s time.

Jet lag doesn't have to be a huge problem if you don't let it. Just give yourself a couple of days to adjust and you'll be in sync with your new surroundings in no time .
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for Airfare 1st where you can learn more about air travel and how to get the best deals on airfare.
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