Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Say bye to jet lag

Jet lag can lead to fatigue, headaches, dehydration, irritability, difficulty in sleeping or concentrating

Jet lag happens when the body’s inner clock goes out of sync on long-haul trips, or if you fly to a completely different time zone. It can lead to fatigue, headaches, dehydration, irritability, difficulty in sleeping or concentrating. A few simple steps can help you tackle it.

■ Eat a high-carbohydrate snack (like a sandwich) and have a drink with electrolytes (coconut water, etc.) an hour before flying. This will help stabilize the blood pressure.

■ Eat as little as possible on the plane. Have a big meal on reaching your destination.

■ Hydrate by drinking plenty of water before boarding. On the plane, try to drink a glass of water every hour (it’ll also force you to get up and walk to the restroom, which helps circulation). Ask for teas like chamomile.

■ Stay off booze from at least a day before the flight—it is dehydrating and destroys B vitamins, which are great jet-lag fighters, in the body.

■ Try to nap at least a few times during the flight. Target sleep during nighttime in your departure city, and stay awake at other times.

■ Do some stretching exercises on the flight to help circulation and prevent muscle soreness.

■ On landing, drink a cup of espresso or strong tea to wake you up (but keep the cup small as too much caffeine will further disrupt the sleep cycle).

■ Keep a natural laxative at hand—constipation and bowel issues are common problems for a day or two.

■ Walking is always a good idea, particularly after sitting for hours. Do a little sightseeing and get some daylight—this will help reset your internal clock faster.

Finally, if you’re headed for work, try to fly in a day early. This will give you a day or so to adjust.

— Varsha Gorey, senior clinical nutritionist, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai; Farah Ingale, consultant, internal medicine, and diabetologist, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi.