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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.

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