Don’t let jet lag get you down this holiday season! Try these 2 little tricks to get your energy back in no time and enjoy your New Year’s travels!
If you’re traveling for the holidays, you’re probably no stranger to jet lag. You know – that tired, cranky feeling you get when your sleep patterns are off and you just can’t seem to adjust to being in a different time zone.
But did you know that it can actually cause a number of different health issues besides just fatigue and insomnia? From digestive issues to difficulty concentrating, to mood imbalances, jet lag can be a real pain in the you-know-what, and can even take away some of the enjoyment of your holiday visits with far away family and friends.
Here’s why jet lag happens, and what you can do about it!
What Causes Jet Lag?
Jet lag is primarily caused by the transitory misalignment that occurs in the endogenous circadian clock…which governs the body’s sleep/wake cycle. Accordingly, the symptoms of jet lag are actually just signs that our internal clock is off. As we re-tune our rhythms back to their “factory settings,” the symptoms begin to dissolve.
What’s the secret to beating jet lag?
Considering that the primary cause of jet lag is rooted in a disturbance of circadian rhythm, the solution is going to be looking at ways to tweak and reset our internal clocks. There are a few ways we can do this. Let’s take a look:
1. Light manipulation: Because light plays a significant role in how our circadian rhythm is aligned, we can use light manipulation to cause phase shifts in our internal clock, which will help lessen or eliminate the symptoms of jet lag.
The trick for resetting our internal clock rests in knowing whether to pursue light or avoid it.
Here’s the general rule: light – sunlight in particular – triggers the release of cortisol and inhibits melatonin production. Cortisol gives us energy and the feeling of being awake, while melatonin is a sleep hormone that causes drowsiness. The trick for resetting our internal clock rests in knowing whether to pursue light or avoid it, and also knowing when to do this.
2. Melatonin: Because two main hormones, cortisol and melatonin, govern the circadian rhythm, we can find relief in temporary melatonin supplementation. Melatonin can be taken in the morning before a trip when time is gained, to help delay the internal circadian clock. In this situation, your best bet would be a time-release melatonin in the dose of 3 mg.
In the case where time is lost, taking melatonin upon arrival will help speed melatonin production, helping you to feel drowsy earlier….
A Final Tip
Keep in mind that drugs made for jet lag only mask symptoms; they do not get to the root, resetting the clock. In many cases, people who fail to take precautions for preventing jet lag will turn to over-the-counter drugs or naps as a last resort. In this case, only the symptoms are being treated, not the cause, which is the underlying internal misalignment. If not addressed, the symptoms will persist until the circadian clock is finally reset to its current time zone.
Read the full article at http://blog.paleohacks.com/2-simple-tricks-to-escape-jet-lag/.