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Jet Lag

What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag is a physiological condition which is caused by alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms resulting from long-distance travel on a airplane. It can last several days until your body has adjusted to the new time zone. 

Jet lag can be a major problem for travellers, especially if you arrive at your destination at 9 AM, you're supposed to be at a meeting at 10 AM, but as far as your body is concerned, it's still only 4 AM and you should be asleep.

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Natural methods can help with Jet Lag...

Sleep - Possibly one of the most important things is to get your sleep patterns sorted out before you go away. Catch up on your sleep and avoid late nights the week you are going away. Be aware of the time difference of the country you are going to and try and adjust your sleeping to their time - if at all possible. Try and sleep on the plane.

Herbs such as Valerian and Kava Kava are excellent for insomnia. They have a relaxing effect on the central nervous system and help promote sleep - without producing drowsiness once you wake.

You could take one of these herbs (you would not need to take both) before you go on your flight and also while on the plane, if you did not feel sleepy yet. You could also listen to a relaxation tape to help you "drift off".

Fluids - Make sure you drink plenty of fluids on the day of your flight and on the plane, such as water &/or juice. Dehydration can be a major contributing factor in jet lag. Try and avoid drinking alcohol on the plane, which can cause dehydration.

Minerals and Vitamins - If you usually "jump at sudden sounds", then start taking a mineral supplement (such as Radiance Mineral Power) for at least 1 week before you go. Jumping at sudden sounds can show of a mineral deficiency and this could cause you to feel stressed, affect your ability to unwind properly and could adversely affect your sleep patterns.

Ensuring you are getting a good supply of vitamins by taking a Multi-vitamin supplement is also important.  A high potency B Complex will help with better energy, which is important once you get to your destination and want to start to enjoy yourself.

Herbs - The herb Siberian Ginseng can be taken, at the recommended dosage, for about 1 week before the trip and while you are away. Ginseng is an adaptogen. This works on the central nervous system, having a generalised normalising and restorative action in the body - regardless of your health and helps to re-establish "balance".

You can purchase a homoeopathic remedy called Jet Lag Relief. The recommendation with this product is to take 1 to 2 sprays directly into the mouth prior to take-off and again every two hours during the flight. We have had excellent reports back from people about this product and how effectively it worked for them.

Montmorency Tart Cherry Extract - Recent research has shown that Tart Cherry Extract, high in natural melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the body's circadian rhythm, could also assist with the symptoms of Jet Lag. For convenience while traveling, we also have the Tart Cherry Sachets

Once you get to your destination and if you still feel jet-lagged after all these things, Guarana is a natural stimulant that you could take. This is considered an "instant refresher" and will help you to think clearer, give you more energy and stamina and help you to feel alert, until you can catch up on your sleep.  This can be used in conjunction with your high potency B Complex and your minerals, which should be taken in the evening (to help you to sleep better)

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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

If you need help or advice, please email our naturopathic team with your health question.  Please allow 48 hours for a response.

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