Conventional methods of overcoming jet lag are generally well known. However, sometimes these efforts won’t have the desired effect, and you may need to look for alternative ways of beating jet lag.
Using light therapy will affect the production of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body during darkness and is broken down during daylight – and its presence or absence effectively causes you to feel sleepy in the dark and awake in the sunshine. An intense application of light is thought to ‘reset’ the body clock by suppressing the production of melatonin – thereby keeping you awake during the daytime at your destination. Some people have been able to avoid, or at least minimize the effects of, jet lag by using light therapy – so why not try it?
Special aromatherapy jet lag kits are available, which have carrier oils containing essential plant oils to dab on your wrists, temples and feet. Some of these essential oils – such as those containing grapefruit, cardamom and rosemary – are stimulating, and help to keep you alert and refreshed if you need to stay awake. On the other hand, some of the oils have calming, sedative properties – such as those containing lavender and mandarin – which can be used to aid relaxation if you’re having trouble sleeping during or after your flight.
Passion flower, camomile, valerian, lettuce tea, hops and pulsatilla are just some of the traditional herbal remedies you can use to help calm your mind and induce sleep. These may be able to help when your body clock has been disrupted during your flight. Most herbal remedies are available as teas or standardized tablets in many health shops.
Slide rules set up according to the rules of ancient Chinese acupuncture (taking into account your flight’s starting point as well as your destination, with due consideration of daylight savings time), help to select points on the body which ought to be given a massage treatment once every hour during your flight. The effectiveness of self-massage is debatable though, as it may prevent you from getting any sleep on your journey.
Solving the problem of jet lag
Modern science and ancient methods have not yet come up with a practical cure for jet lag that works for everyone. Some methods may work to some extent for some people, but not for others, or may work on some occasions and not on others. The best thing to do is to use some of the alternative therapies that we’ve mentioned here in combination with planning to have an extra day or two off after your flights – so that you give yourself enough time to recover from the effects of jet lag.
Establish a new routine
One way to help stop or at least reduce feelings of jet lag is by setting yourself a new routine to every time zone you’re in. Sleep at the time that’s recommended in the new time zone as opposed to sleeping to where you’ve just come from. Eat according to the new time zone rather than eating to the previous, as this will help establish your diet and help build a new routine.