Jet lag : Solutions Tips for overseas travellers

Jet lag is the result of circadian rhythms (normal body rhythms) being disturbed by the sudden shift of the body from one time zone to another. The body slowly synchronizes with the day and night cycle at the destination time zone, however it is not uncommon to feel some disturbance to your personal body rhythms during this adjustment phase. Symptoms of jet lag are usually felt for a day or two but may persist for a week or more. Circadian rhythms may take up to 2 weeks to adjust.

Some symptoms of jet lag include:
• Disturbances to regular sleep. Daytime sleepiness and night time wakefulness.
• Mental imbalances, moodiness, irritability, depression and poor concentration.
• Muscular and skeletal discomfort including muscle weakness and pain.
• Headaches and nervous system alterations such as slowed reflexes.
• Digestive disturbances, for example, feeling hungry at irregular times and indigestion.
• Impaired immune system indicated by the lack of resistance to infections.

Before travelling:
• Prior to your departure, consider which way you are traveling and start going to bed progressively one hour earlier or later for each of the three days prior to your departure date. If flying eastward, go to bed one hour earlier each succeeding night. Flying westward, follow the same principle but go to bed one hour later each succeeding night.
• Set your watch to your destination time the day before you travel and start adjusting yourself to the new time. If it is six hours later at your travel destination, this means waking up six hours earlier the day you travel and then going to sleep when it is nighttime at your destination.
• Bring your own sleeping aids for the flight: eyeshades, ear plugs, neck rests and blow up pillows are useful in helping you get quality sleep while flying.

During travelling:
• Hydrate well by drinking plenty of water. The atmosphere inside the aeroplane cabin is actually drier than that of a desert which contributes to dehydration and oedema (abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin).
• Avoid alcohol and coffee in flight as these are dehydrating.
• Avoid overeating: Eat small snacks or light meals.
• Exercise as much as you can on the flight: Walking up and down the aisle, standing for spells and twisting and stretching exercises all help to reduce discomfort to leave you feeling fresher upon arrival.

Following arrival:

• Expose the back of your knees to direct sunlight for fifteen minutes per day for the first three or four days at your new destination (avoid the hours when the sun is at its strongest between 11 and 3): This practice is used by pilots to help them adjust to new time zones when they arrive at their destination.
• You can adjust to the new time zone faster by exposing yourself to the sunlight in the new location.
When you have traveled eastward, exposure to bright early morning light at your destination is helpful, and if flying westward, exposure to bright afternoon light at your destination is beneficial. The pineal gland in your brain releases melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, at night. The gland takes its cue from your retina, which receives a regular amount of sunlight in your local time zone. The rhythm of sunlight is broken when you cross time zones, so your body may think it is night when it is day.
• Enjoy your holiday: Try to start being active in the new time zone as soon as you arrive. Hopefully you
will be having so much fun that you will be unaware of any jet lag.
• Limit naps to no more than one hour.

Treatments that may accelerate the recovery from jetlag:

Treatment:Benefits of Treatment:
Traditional Asian Foot MassageEffective for calming the mind, relieving headaches and inducing deep, restful sleep.
Indian Head MassageTo relieve tension from shoulders, neck, back and scalp.
Vital Essence Oil massageCombines the techniques of traditional Asian healing arts and the essence of aromatherapy oils to totally relax the whole body and help to ease tension.
AcupunctureCan relieve jetlag stress by restoring balance, peace and harmony.
NaturopathSee your naturopath for a homeopathic remedy.

To aid jet lag recovery, it is best to have these treatments soon after your arrival. If you would like to prebook any treatments, please email wellnessreservation(at) or telephone +66 77 429800.