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Traveling in Comfort / Fighting Jet Lag

According to a recent Washington Post article about defeating jet lag, a former airline executive who has made more than 100 trips across the Atlantic thinks he has come up with a common sense approach to avoid jet lag.

Jet lag is that exhausted, rundown, disoriented feeling you experience after a long (6+ hours) flight. Add the stress of constant new situations, the tension of adapting to new food and routines, relating in a foreign language, and even the most seasoned traveler will "shake and walk around with an inside tremble for several days." Headaches, sleepless nights, an upset stomach and extreme fatigue during the day are other symptoms some travelers might experience.

Stephen F. Forsyth, President of Forsyth Travel Library in Mettiara, Kansas believes he has found a foolproof way to defeat jet lag.

Here are some tips taken from their free pamphlet:

  • Eat a high carbohydrate meal (such as pasta) on the evening before the flight. You may drink a little wine, but go light on meat.
  • On the day of the flight, avoid all food, snacks, coffee, tea, nonprescription drugs, and liquor. Instead, increase your intake of fluids in the form of water and/or vegetable or fruit juice. You may want to pack some in your carry-on bag. Maintain this diet until the cabin crew offers you a light snack just before your flight ends.
  • The biggest temptation may be the complimentary meal the airline may serve you and the drink cart passing by soon after the plane makes its departure. Because of time-zone changes, indulging in a big meal and cocktails is like going out on the town on a Saturday night and expecting to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 2:00 A.M. Sunday morning.
  • Set your watch for the time at your destination. This will remind you of what your body is expecting when it arrives.
  • Relax on the flight. Watch the movie, listen to music, read a book, work a crossword puzzle, or try some isometric or yoga exercises. Use refueling stops to exercise your arms and legs.
  • Get comfortable. Get a pillow and blanket, put on a sweater or light jacket to ward off the chill, and loosen or remove your shoes.
  • Go to sleep. You might manage three or four hours, which is a big help in fighting jet lag. Don't take sleeping pills.
  • When you're about an hour away from arriving at your destination, freshen up in the rest room. Brush your teeth, change your clothes (even your underwear if you're so inclined), wash up, etc.
  • If the airline is passing around a light snack, take it and enjoy it. Many airlines favor high sugar snacks to jolt tired passengers awake.
 




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