Eliminating jet lag: Strategies to reduce, even avoid, symptoms. |

Everyone knows about the jet lag, which is described as “This is when you fly from a different time zone, and the body has to adjust to the new time zone. This is the worst, because it can result in feeling tired, groggy and irritable. The good news is that there are things you can do to minimize these symptoms. Here are the best methods to avoid, even avoid, symptoms of jet lag.”

It’s not uncommon anymore to read about people who have traveled long distances, across time zones, and they still experience the effects of jet lag. This is usually because they have not learned how to reduce the symptoms, or they have been practicing poor habit. Here are some tips that will help you reduce the symptoms of jet lag.

You haven’t experienced jet lag yet, but it won’t be long before you have to. A few weeks into a trip to a new time zone, you will experience the disorientation, insomnia, and other symptoms that are the result of traveling across several time zones. When traveling by air, the rapidly changing time zones will cause the body to go into a state of jet lag.

Nobody enjoys feeling dizzy, nauseated, weary, distracted, or sleepless. However, by taking a few basic measures, you may significantly minimize the symptoms of jet lag and have a more comfortable trip.

What exactly is a time zone shift?

Have you ever taken a long trip and felt weak, weary, or unhappy when you arrived at your destination? It’s not your imagination – it’s the time difference. This is a genuine physiological occurrence. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of jet lag:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite loss.
  • Disorientation
  • low level of concentration
  • decreases in aerobic capacity
  • decreased anaerobic power
  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Joint swelling and stiffness
  • Muscle stiffness and discomfort

Jet lag is caused by neurons in the hypothalamus, which controls our body temperature, sleep, circadian rhythm, appetite, and hunger.

This portion of the brain evolved long before flight and is sluggish to react to outside changes in weather and light. Reactive delay is the result of a disagreement between internal and external time.

In fact, experts believe that it takes a full day to recover from one hour of jet lag. So, if you’re going from London (UK) to New York (USA), take it easy for the first five days.

It’s worth noting that the direction you go may have an impact on the intensity of your jitney symptoms. A journey to the east is more physically demanding than a journey to the west. It seems that our bodies find it simpler to switch off their internal clocks than to accelerate them up.

Jet lag affects even the most seasoned travelers.

A study of international flight attendants performed in New Zealand in 1994 found that, despite their familiarity with long-haul flights, flight attendants were not always able to fulfill the requirements of passengers.

  • In the first five days after arriving, 90% of the people were exhausted;
  • 94 percent of respondents said they lacked energy and drive.
  • Sleep problems were reported by 93 percent of those polled.
  • Seventy percent of those surveyed reported issues with their ears, nose, or throat.

Jet lag is unpleasant, but a few easy measures taken before, during, and after your journey may help you recover more quickly.


How to deal with jet lag

Set your goals and objectives.

Those who travel often may enjoy the ultra-modern lifestyle of the jet set, but their bodies are still equipped with outdated technology.

Accept that crossing various time zones will affect your trip regardless of what you do, so plan appropriately.

Recognize that you may not be at your best for a few days following a lengthy flight, particularly if traveling east. Set realistic goals for yourself.

If you have an important business meeting in Barcelona on Wednesday morning, instead of taking an overnight trip from Atlanta on Tuesday night, try traveling a day or two early.

(Plus, you’ll have more time to get an espresso and take a walk along Las Ramblas.)

You may substantially decrease your symptoms by making a few adjustments to your food, exercise, and supplements in addition to cautious planning.


The good news is that proper fasting procedures may substantially decrease jet lag symptoms.

Investigators starved 186 National Guard soldiers stationed across nine time zones in 2002. They focused on the Argonne diet regimen (see below) and its impact on jet lag symptoms.

95 people used the system to plan their vacation, and 39 people used it to plan their return. The others went about their business as normal.

Those who followed the Argonne diet were 7.5 times less likely to suffer from jet lag when they arrived at work. After returning home, the 39 individuals who followed the procedure were 16.2 times less likely to have jet lag symptoms!

The regimen employed in this research is very rigorous, and it may need alternating periods of fasting and fasting for four days before to a trip, which may not be feasible for everyone.

Dr. Clifford Saper, on the other hand, wrote a shortened version, which PN’s Dr. John Berardi used on many occasions when he had to travel across time zones for presentations.

The Argonne Protocol has been updated.

On the day of the trip, have a regular breakfast and lunch. Then, just before and particularly during the trip, fast while staying hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Eat as close to the local meal hours as possible once on board. Then, in accordance with local time, begin with regular meals. The fast should be at least 14 hours long, but it may go up to 24 hours long. Meal timings may need to be adjusted depending on the flight’s departure schedule.


If you like going outdoors first thing in the morning, you already know that exercise, particularly when coupled with light, may significantly boost mood and energy levels during a time of day when many people are tired.

Exercise, like properly planned meals, may alter our circadian cycles. Exercise, when done correctly, may help to alleviate the effects of jet lag.

The ideal workout is one that can be done in the open air during daylight hours.

Our internal biological clock is most powerfully regulated by light. As a result, we may utilize light signals to reduce time zone shifts. Bright light, particularly when accompanied by movement, tells the body it’s time to wake up.

Exercise at the same time as you would at home is another effective approach. In other words, if you usually workout at 8 a.m. in Los Angeles, try to train at 8 a.m. in London. It’s London time, and it’s best if you can do it outdoors.

Working exercise at the same time every day has an interesting impact on the biological clock of the brain. The primary advantage is that it aids in the adjustment of our muscles and peripheral tissues to the new time zone.

In any event, regular exercise seems to have an impact on many bodily systems, and it definitely helps when traveling between time zones.

There hasn’t been much study done on the best kind of exercise for decreasing jet lag. However, pay attention to your body and do what you believe is best.

If you’re tired and every limb seems twice as heavy as it would normally, intense exercise may not be an option. In such scenario, strength training, walking, or stretching may be beneficial. Any movement will very certainly be beneficial.

Do all you can about the same time every day, if possible outdoors.



Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland. Melatonin has a number of functions, one of which is to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock, which controls when we go to sleep and when we wake up.

Melatonin production is proportional to the quantity of light you get. Its discharge is stifled by the light. Melatonin production is increased when the lights are turned off at night.

When traveling between time zones, one may be exposed to an excessive quantity of light when it is time to go to bed. Even a three-hour change in time may make a big impact.

Our melatonin cycles are interrupted as a result, and we suffer from jet lag until our circadian rhythms adapt to the new environment.

Melatonin supplements may therefore be beneficial.

However, the timing of dosage is critical. Melatonin supplementation before to travel has been shown to exacerbate the symptoms of jet lag.

Wait until you are in a new time zone before taking a supplement; it will significantly decrease the symptoms of jet lag, enhance sleep quality, boost alertness, and recover strength.

Since both light exposure and melatonin consumption may be used to change a person’s circadian clock, you might be wondering what happens when the two are combined.

In a few words, one research summarized it:

  • A progressive sleep schedule (in which each participant was awakened one hour earlier each morning for three days),
  • when exposed to awakening light (to simulate morning light in a new time zone),
  • in the morning, and melatonin in the afternoon (or a placebo, for participants in the control group).

What’s the end result? Participants’ circadian rhythms shifted 1.7 hours each night as a result of gradual adjustments in sleep periods, exposure to morning light, and a placebo.

Participants acquired a whole hour of circadian correction each day, up to 2.6 hours per day, when melatonin was added to the diet.

It’s worth noting that 3 mg of melatonin wasn’t any more effective than 0.5 mg. To put it another way, a little quantity of melatonin may have a big impact.

According to these and other research, if you wish to take a melatonin pill to help with jet lag, you should:

  • For three nights (or until adjusted), take 0.5 mg to 5 mg melatonin;
  • one hour before going to bed; and
  • not until you’ve achieved your objective.


Another substance that has been investigated for its potential to alleviate the symptoms of jet lag is pycnogenol.

The average duration of jet lag symptoms was substantially decreased when individuals took 50 mg of Pycnogenol three times daily for seven days, beginning two days before departure.

The control group had symptoms for 39.8 hours, while the Pycnogenol group only had symptoms for 18.2 hours.

Why? Picogenol decreased edema or swelling of the brain as well as swelling of the limbs, which may explain why.

People who took Pycnogenol had less difficulties with short-term memory, heart function, and blood pressure, and were substantially less tired as a consequence.

Pycnogenol also helps to prevent deep and superficial venous thrombosis, which is a frequent adverse effect of lengthy flights.

In a study of individuals at moderate to high risk of thrombosis, pycnogenol decreased the rate of thrombosis from 5.15 percent to 0%.


Jet lag will very certainly remain a reality as long as people travel great distances by aircraft. However, there are a number of things you may do to avoid or minimize them.

Before you go on your journey,

To begin, attempt to match your sleep/wake cycle as closely as possible to your destination’s time zone. For three days, this entails waking up and going to bed one hour sooner or later each day (depending on the direction you are traveling).

Get up an hour earlier each day for three days if you’re going east. If you’re traveling west, use the other route. You can check your schedule on the JetLagRooster website.

Throughout the day, provide strong light. If you have one, you can use it, or you can go outdoors, which is much better. At the very least, you’ll be able to sit near the window.

Start fasting 14 to 24 hours before your next planned meal in the next time zone if you want to do so.

Starting two days before your travel, take 50 mg of Pycnogenol three times a day.

It is advisable to perform a more intensive exercise before the flight to burn some calories and prevent tension during the journey if you are still fresh and full of energy. If at all feasible, do it at your regular exercise time.

You won’t have time for a thorough exercise if your trip is extremely early in the morning, but a few short circuits around the airport before boarding would suffice.

When you’re driving

Continue to fast and stay hydrated.

To promote circulation and decrease edema, get up and walk about the cabin as frequently as possible, at least once an hour.

(Tip: in the tiny area adjacent to the bathroom, there’s plenty of room to squat.) Don’t, however, kick the beverage cart).

Avoid alcohol and caffeine because both dehydrate you and disrupt your circadian rhythm.

Following your arrival,

Allow yourself to be exposed to sunshine and mingle. Going to a dark hotel room and watching TV is the worst thing you can do.

If you need to snooze, do so only if you can keep it to 30 or 40 minutes. The worst thing you can do is go straight to bed when you get home and lay there for hours.

If you wake up in a different location every day, get as much light as possible as quickly as feasible.

Consider taking 0.5 (or up to 5 mg) of melatonin one hour before your normal bedtime in your new location for three nights or until you’ve acclimated.

For the next five days after planting, take 50 mg of Pycnogenol three times a day (up to seven days total).

At your regular workout period, try to exercise outdoors. If you like to lift weights, you may continue to do so at your regular time, but thereafter, go for a stroll outdoors to get the best of both worlds.

Also, take advantage of the advantages of traveling without a time difference!

Even in the case of something as basic as shoes.

For you, individually.


To view the sources of information used in this article, go here.

Fighting jet lag with the Argonne diet: Deployment of soldiers across nine time zones, Reynolds NC Jr. and Montgomery R. Military Medicine, vol. 167, no. 6, p. 451-3, 2002.

VL Revell, VL Revell, VL Revell, VL Revell Melatonin in the afternoon and intermittent bright light in the morning accelerate the human circadian rhythm. 91.1 (2006):54-9 in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

A double-blind trial of melatonin for the treatment of jet lag in international airline crews, Petrie K, et al. Biological psychiatry, 33(7), 526-530, 1993.

V. Srinivasan, D. W. Spence, S. R. Pandi-Perumal, I. Trakht, and D. P. Cardinali. Melatonin as a treatment for jet lag and the potential use of melatonin analogues 2008 Jan-Mar;6(1-2):17-28 in Travel Med Infect Dis.

Cardinali DP, Brown GM, Pandi-Perumal SR, Trakht I, Brown GM. The significance of melatonin during time zone changes. 7(2):69-81 in Travel Med Infect Dis. 2009 Mar;7(2):69-81 in Travel Med Infect Dis.

Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of jet lag, Herxheimer A, Petrie KJ. CD001520, Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2001.

G. Belcaro, M. Cesarone, R. J. Steigerwalt, A. Di Renzo, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M. Grossi, M Pycnogenol for Pycnogenol for Pycnogenol for Pycnogenol for Pycn Evaluation in healthy individuals and patients with hypertension (preliminary report). 2008 Oct;56(5 Suppl):3-9 in Minerva Cardioangiol.

Cesarone MR, Belcaro G, Rohdewald P, Pellegrini L, Ippolito E, Scoccianti M, Ricci A, Dugall M, Cacchio M, Ruffini I, Fano F, Acerbi G, Vinciguerra MG, Bavera P, Di Renzo A, Errichi BM, Mucci F. Cesarone MR, Belcaro G, Rohdewald P, Pellegrini L, Pelle Pycnogenol may help you avoid edema on lengthy trips. 2005 Jul;11(3):289-94. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2005 Jul;11(3):289-94.

Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, Rohdewald P, Ricci A, Ippolito E, Dugall M, Griffin M, Ruffini I, Acerbi G, Vinciguerra MG, Bavera P, Di Renzo A, Errichi BM, Cerritelli F, Acerbi G, Vinciguerra MG, Bavera P, Di Renzo A, Errichi BM, Cerritelli F, Acerbi G Pycnogenol is used to prevent venous thrombosis and thrombophlebitis during long-haul flights. 2004 Oct;10(4):373-7. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2004 Oct;10(4):373-7.

Forbes-Robertson S, Dudley E, Wadgama P, Cook S, Draughtsman S, Kilduff L. Forbes-Robertson S, Dudley E, Wadgama P, Cook S, Draughtsman S, Kilduff L. Circadian abnormalities and their treatments: The effects of time zone shifts on top sports performance and their treatments. Sports Medicine, Vol. 42, No. 3, March 1, 2012, pp. 185-208.

M. Shiota, M. Sudou, and M. Ohshima. The use of outdoor exercise to help airline workers recover from jet lag. 1996 Dec;67(12):1155-60 in Aviat Space Environ Med.

G. Wolff and K. A. Esser. The circadian clock in skeletal muscle is influenced by a scheduled training period. 2012 Sep;44(9):1663-70 in Med Sci Sports Exerc.

One of the most challenging aspects of travelling is adjusting to the time difference. People who travel frequently often experience jet lag, which is the side effect of staying up for several days or several weeks at a time. Although the body needs time to adjust to a different time zone, staying current with the progress of time and being attentive to the symptoms of jet lag can help alleviate jet lag symptoms.. Read more about symptoms of jet lag and let us know what you think.

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The best way to combat jet lag is to try and get a good nights sleep. This will help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”How do you trick your brain to avoid jet lag?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
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Frequently Asked Questions

Whats the best strategy you could use to counteract jet lag?

The best way to combat jet lag is to try and get a good nights sleep. This will help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

How do you trick your brain to avoid jet lag?

Jet lag is a condition that happens when you travel across time zones. It can be avoided by staying up late the night before and sleeping in on the day of your departure, but this is not always possible.

How do you get rid of jet lag naturally?

There are many ways to get rid of jet lag. Some people find that drinking a lot of water helps them sleep better, while others find that taking a nap helps them feel better.

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