Overcome Jet Lag
Jet lag is the result of a rapid shift in time zones. It is actually a combination of symptoms. including sleepiness and fatigue, reduced ability to concentrate, lowered alertness and memory, feelings of lethargy, light-headedness, weakness and general clumsiness when combined, limiting ability to perform at full potential. Studies show severe jet lag from changing six or more time zones mimics drunkeness in terms of reaction time placing persons who drive a motor vehicle in this condition at risk.
Perfect for traveling through several time zones, MindSpa can be a remarkably helpful tool for helping to alleviate jet lag symptoms and the associated weariness and fatigue resulting from long flights. You will feel relaxed, refreshed and reinvigorated. Like having your own personal mind oasis!
MindSpa can be used in two ways for jet lag. One is to use our CalmBlue glasses which are tuned to the action spectrum affecting circadian rhythms, our internal body clock. Instructions are provided below. The second method is to use MindSpa’s relaxation programs during travel and at your destination to help energize and revitalize. You can overcome the effects associated with jet lag more quickly and easily when you use MindSpa and follow these simple rules.
Using MindSpa for Travel
Use MindSpa during travel and after arrival to help you overcome the effects of jet lag. Use any of the longer relaxation sessions on the plane. Use at your destination for recovery and mental sharpness. When using mid-day, falling into a short nap is ok. However, be careful not to allow yourself to fall into a deep, prolonged sleep. Sleeping too soundly during the day after arrival can make it difficult to go to sleep at your typical bedtime in your new destination and prolong your jet lag symptoms by several days.
When using MindSpa at your destination, we recommend to either use seated comfortably in a chair, or on your bed in a reclining position with an alarm set to wake you in case you fall too deeply asleep. After your session, especially the day of arrival, you may feel a bit groggy. That is expected but it will soon pass. Stay active, go outside and get some light to moderate exercise.
Avoid caffeine during the late afternoon and especially in the evening. Assuming you are going through a major time zone shift, if you usually drink coffee or tea in the morning at home, your body is going to crave it at your new destination at the very time you should avoid it. This is a good time to do a quick MindSpa session. Follow a few simple rules and you will reduce the effects of jet lag and amount of time it takes to adjust to your new time zone. By staying active until destination bed time you will sleep much better and adjust quicker.
Prior to Travel Using Our CalmBlue™ Glasses
For eastbound travel, three days before departure go to bed one hour earlier than usual and get up one hour earlier than usual. Next, early in the morning, it is important to get as much natural light as possible. When this is not possible due to schedules or other circumstances, use MindSpa with our CalmBlue led glasses for at least one hour immediately upon awakening.
Our glasses can be worn with eyes open so you can go about your normal morning routine with minimal disruption. When needed, you can take them off and continue treatment later. Keep the lights as bright as possible provided the brightness is comfortable. Choose any of the relaxation sessions and restart after session completion to receive a minimum 45-60 minutes of light.
For westbound travel, you can maintain your normal sleep schedule. Use the CalmBlue glasses for at least 45-60 minutes and optimally for two to three hours before bed for three days before travel. Optionally, if the sun set late due to the time of year, then get as much exposure to natural light as possible then use MindSpa to supplement natural light. By using this protocol prior to departure, you have started to reset your body clock and will be able adjust to your new time zone more easily.
The best way to start is with plenty of rest. Plan ahead so the day before your trip you are prepared and have reduced to a minimum stress producing events and responsibilities in your life. Stress can have a real negative effect on your body during long trips.
Reset your watch
When moving through multiple time zones, from the moment you board your flight, immediately place your mind into your new time zone. Start by immediately resetting your watch to your new destination time.
Hint: Begin several days in advance and be consciously aware of your destination time zone. Take note of the three major meal times and the times you will be rising and sleeping. During various times in the day visualize yourself at the destination and what you would be doing. Take it from seasoned travelers – mental preparation really does make a difference!
Get plenty of fluids
Drink plenty of water and nonalcoholic beverages during the flight. 8-16 ounces per hour is generally recommended. Also, watch what you eat on the flight. Most airline meals and carry-on processed foods are high in salt which has a dehydrating effect. Try to stay with low sodium foods on and before your flight. Also, the air is very dry inside a plane causing dehydration which leads to fatigue and causes jet lag recovery to be unnecessarily prolonged.
Alcohol on long flights
Alcohol will accelerate dehydration and play havoc with the resetting of your internal body clock. It is best to avoid alcohol when traveling on long flights. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation and take note of the destination time. For example, do not drink when it is destination morning time. It just makes adjusting to your new time zone all the more difficult. Much to the contrary of what many think, alcohol is one of the worst things you can take for sleep.
The single most powerful aid to resetting your internal body clock is natural sunlight. Frequently, when you depart on a long overseas trip covering six time zones or more, it is nighttime at your destination. You should keep the blinds down or wear an eye mask and try resting even if you are not sleepy. Just winding down will help. If you arrive during the day, get as much sunlight as possible. Avoid sunglasses. Even if you go straight into meetings, situate yourself facing the window.
Light and its Relationship to Travel
Light is a vital nutrient; without adequate amounts of natural light we become unbalanced, unmotivated, and depressed. Research findings at the University of Illinois report that athletes who received adequate light experienced an increase of 20% of strength and athletic performance over those who did not receive adequate light input. Further research states that adequate exposure to light decreases lactic acid retention while increasing strength, energy, endurance and the ability of the blood to absorb and carry oxygen.
Traveling through multiple time zones over an extended period of hours can rob the traveler of light. Light is as important as any nutrient, vitamin or mineral for health and well being. Scientists have long assumed that the eye has only one purpose: vision. We now know that seeing is only one task for the eye and that every cell in the body relies on the light brought in through the eyes.
Just as a reduction in the proper level of fluids or nutrition can cause fatigue, lack of sufficient light can be just as debilitating. If you want to operate at maximum level mentally and physically, it becomes necessary for you to be exposed to adequate light stimuli. In this regard, MindSpa can play a positive role using your blue led glasses to balance the body clock.
(See accompanying section on circadian rhythms.)
Movement and Stretching Every Hour
It is very important to move about the cabin on a regular basis. Sitting still for long periods of time in flight causes discomfort and can lead to swelling of the legs and feet, and in some cases, serious health problems. Get up about once every hour or so especially during the daylight destination hours and do some minor stretching exercises. Sitting for long periods of time on a flight can create a number of well-documented difficulties. While sitting, you can also do a series of stretches to keep your blood flowing and prevent pooling toward your lower extremities.
Sleep and Rest
It is best to try to sleep at nighttime destination time. Reduce your mental and physical activities at these times even if you do not feel drowsy or ready to sleep. It will pay dividends.
Inevitably you will feel drowsy during a long flight. If you are the kind of person who can sleep on a plane, by all means go ahead and get some rest. If sleep is difficult for you, try using any of MindSpa's longer deep relaxation programs which can be very effective in helping you to relax into sleep. You will want the volume to be at levels higher than normal because the airplane noise will tend to drown it out. If desired, use a calm relaxing music in combination with the internal MindSpa sounds.
At morning destination time, if it is light outside, try to soak up some daylight perhaps at the back of the plane as to not disturb others who may be sleeping. This is the only time during your flight you should drink caffeine for jet lag as it can be very powerful when used in this manner.
Any of us who have traveled long distances know that the day of arrival can be tough on your mind and body. If possible keep your schedule open. Once you arrive at your destination, think of sunlight as a much-needed nutrient for your body, and absorb as much natural daylight as possible. Do not take extended naps during the day of arrival. Go outside and stay active. Eat at regular meal times at your destination.
Avoid any kinds of stimulants, such as caffeinated beverages or foods (this includes chocolate, caffeinated tea, coffee or colas) during this first day and do not drink caffeinated beverages until the morning following your arrival. Caffeine can cause your body clock to remain on your home time when used improperly. If you are a regular coffee or tea drinker, your body will really crave it that first day of arrival when it is morning, home time.