Because of our travel schedules, The Empowering Team is always looking for solutions to reducing jet lag and coping with its effects. This post by Joseph Coda has great advice on the subject.
The Symptoms of jet lag vary by individual and according to how accustomed you are to flying, especially on long flights. One of the most common symptoms of jet lag is a sense of mental fatigue. You may have difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks and may have headaches or disorientation. Your usual bodily schedules, including bathroom and sleep habits, may experience interruptions and can get thrown completely out of sync; varying degrees of changes can occur in your normal sleeping, waking, toilet and exercise habits, caused by disruption of the circadian or daily rhythm of your body. Your body adapts to the sunrise and sunset of your origination point; if those times are different in your destination, your mind and body can become confused.
Reduce your vulnerability to jet lag with exercise before traveling across multiple time zones. Many athletes traveling for competition exercise early in the morning on the day of departure. Exercise for about 20 to 30 minutes, combining calisthenics, weight-bearing or light circuit training, and walking or jogging on a treadmill. These can be effective in restoring circulation and “waking the body up” to a more alert and invigorated state.
During your flight, get up at least once an hour and walk up and down the aisles of your cabin. If you’re not embarrassed, take large, lunging steps to work the hips, stretching your hips and getting the circulation going in the lower extremities after hours of sitting still. When you are seated, small range-of-motion exercises and stretches can help keep your body more alert and increase blood supply to the heart and brain. Calf stretches can be performed in a seated position by placing your hands on your knees and pressing downward while lifting your heels off the floor. Repeat this exercise 20 to 30 times in a row. Shrug your shoulders forward and backward, then in a forward circling motion, then in a rearward motion, for 10 times in each direction.
As soon as you get a chance after landing, engage in a light workout. Walking or jogging on a treadmill, lifting light weights, circuit training or even a yoga workout in your hotel room will help your body to recover from long hours in flight. Your body may need a day or two to adjust to the new environment, but exercising will help your body relax and encourage restful sleep that first night after you land.