Monday, July 1, 2013

Jet Lag Remedy

Back at home, and once again, no jet lag symptoms. How do I do it? Simple: I pay attention to science. Five years ago while flying to Thailand (across the maximum 12 time zones) I read an article about a scientific study that showed diet, not sleep, is what drives the sleep cycle. As one who suffered miserably from jet lag, I was of course interested. Since trying out the very simple requirement of not eating solid food for 18 hours before a trip, I have experienced absolutely no jet lag in either direction in 12 trips to and from the U.S.

It's easier than it sounds. If your flight leaves in the late morning or early afternoon, it is a simple matter of skipping breakfast as long as you ate dinner the previous evening, at least 18 hours before the flight. If you leave early in the morning, then skip the previous evening dinner (lunch as the last meal). It's more difficult if you have an evening flight, as it requires skipping two meals, but the result is far more preferable to me than three days of jet lag.

I am writing this 21 hours after arriving from the U.S. I had a regular night's sleep and woke with--again--no jet lag symptoms. It is an amazing discovery. What is more amazing to me is the number of people I have told who just can't bring themselves to skip a meal, and prefer to deal with the stupor-inducing effects of jet lag. I have absolutely no sympathy for them when jet lag clobbers them during the next few days. I have three more days on both sides of the trip to enjoy myself.

The formula works if the flight is part of the 18 hours, too. If you just cannot give up a meal, then you can count sequential hours in the plane before you eat as part of the 18 hours.

Give it a try, and spread the word. Jet lag sucks. If there is a solution, why not follow the simple procedure for greatly reducing, or eliminating, jet lag altogether?