Jet lag is typically a very short-lived condition and won’t always require the need for treatment. Symptoms will often improve within a few days. But if they persist and are getting in the way of daily activities, there are a few readily available options which can help you. If you travel a lot and become bothered by jet lag frequently, you may be prescribed medications or even light therapy.
Keep in mind a few points:
- When you arrive at your destination, try to adapt your schedule according to the new time zone as soon as possible
- Drinks containing caffeine may help by not allowing you to sleep at an inappropriate time (avoid this before immediately bedtime)
- Try to relax
- Avoid large meals, heavy exercise, and any kind of excitement before going to sleep
- Try to adapt the time zone changes a few days before departure
Sunlight: When you arrive at the new destination, try to expose yourself to natural sunlight (as much as possible). This helps your internal clock to adjust. Sunlight cuts down the amount of natural melatonin released by the brain. This delays the time when you start feeling sleepy. Ultimately, it becomes easy for you to adapt the changes in the new time zone.
This is the hormone that your body will naturally produce every single night, a few hours prior to sleep. Melatonin is a very effective medicine for jet lag. It takes around 30-40 minutes to start its effect and is only recommended for use if you can sleep for a minimum of eight hours after taking it. If you were to wake up before 8 hours have passed, you may feel drowsiness and disorientation.
We would only advise this option if melatonin has proved ineffective. Certain medications, referred to as sleeping pills (typically benzodiazepines or nonbenzodiazepines), can help you sleep during a flight and can also be used for nights subsequent to arriving at your destination. Over-the-counter sleeping pills can be purchased, or stronger versions can be prescribed by a doctor. Side effects can occur but are uncommon.
Multiple other methods exist such as staying hydrated at all times, eating at mealtimes which are appropriate to the new time zone you are in, and even light therapy if you believe you require more advanced treatment.
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