How to Avoid Jet Lag

Jet Lag is something that whoever took a plane for faraway places has most likely experienced. Some of the jet lag symptoms are fatigue, dizziness, somnolence or indigestion.

The circadian cycle takes 24h and it’s influenced by the perception of light. When night falls, we receive less light and therefore we produce less melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleeping and that also controls insulin, the hormone that produces energy. What may happen during a plane trip due to this relation is tiresome/fatigue and also problems on the digestion. Melatonin is also related with the “wellbeing” hormones and when they are not produced as they should, they may cause an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone.

So how to minimize this entire process and help the body adapt to the transition to the new timezone in the best possible way?

The best trick to minimize jet lag is to adapt to the timezone of the destination during the flight or in the days prior to the trip. If one arrives to the destination in the morning or any time during the day, when at the origin it would be evening, the best is to sleep on the plane to minimize that change in such a way that one only goes to sleep in the evening of the timezone of the destination.

To be able to sleep in the plane you should:

– Use Lavender essential oil (smell it for 20 to 30s and/or apply one drop in the temples);

– Take sunglasses or a mask in case you need (even though most of the long distance night flights switch off the light at a given time);

– Take a U-shape pillow, since it is the best support for the neck, when sleeping in the sitting position;

– Take earphones or earplugs to avoid to be disturbed by noise.

The only jet lag symptom I’ve ever experienced was mild dizziness, when I travelled from Europe to the Easter Island. I left Paris at 11:00AM, stopping at Los Angeles for 2h, then on to Tahiti where I arrived at 22:00PM local time. I waited for 5h at the airport to take the plane to the Easter Island and arrived at the destination by lunch time of the next day. I used the entire afternoon to walk and enjoy some of the astonishing sightseeings that fantastic Rapa Nui has to offer, so I was tired enough to go to bed and sleep in the evening of the timezone. When I laid down to sleep, I realised the entire bedroom appared to be moving and I concluded I had mild dizziness caused by jet lag. When I woke up, I used Lemon essential oil to eliminate this symptom, since dizziness due to jet lag may last for a couple of days.

Lemon essential oil is adequate both for dizziness, motion sickness (I also used it in a boat trip) and it is a great support to relieve jet lag. All you have to do is smell the oil directly from the bottle to alleviate the symptoms or eventually intake one drop (make sure the essential oil of your choice is fit to intake).

If your ears also suffer with the pressure during the landing of the flight, essential oils can be a precious natural reliever and I will dedicate another post to the subject soon.

Another important trick is to avoid overeating or overdrinking during the flight. Eat the minimum and drink, preferably, still water to support the body to adapt to the change.

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Good trips!

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