Jet lag is a symptom and not a disease and there is no miracle jet lag cure. The secret to finding a jet lag remedy lies in understanding its underlying cause and in treating that accordingly.
There are, however, a number of jet lag treatments often described, so let’s just lay a few myths to rest here.
Although jet lag diets are available, there is no real evidence to support their usefulness and it is probable that any benefit gained is imagined rather than real.
In the case of one particular jet lag diet, ‘The Argonne Diet’, evidence has been produced to support the claims made for the diet, however, the test group used for the study (a group of US National Guard soldiers) is hardly representative of the general traveling population.
Jet Lag Formulas
A number of jet lag pills, or formulas, are currently being marketed. The majority of these are either a combination of vitamins and amino acids or homeopathic preparations. A close look at the constituents of these pills gives little to indicate that they should be effective and, once again, there is no scientific evidence to support their effectiveness.
In the case of one jet lag pill manufactured in New Zealand which claims that it will leave you with ‘no jet lag’ study based claims are made for its effectiveness. Here however the main group used are flight crews, in particular cabin staff, who are again anything but representative of the average traveler.
Modern non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills can be effective in helping you to sleep in very specific circumstances and in the short-term. Because of the manner in which they work (creating a false state of induced sleep) they are ineffective in re-setting your body clock and treating jet lag and can indeed make matters worse. Their use is not recommended.
Over the counter medication
Over the counter medications are generally of little or no use as a jet lag remedy. The exception to this rule are some of the recently introduced painkillers which include a mild soporific. These can be particularly useful if you find yourself suffering from headaches and can form one small part of your toolkit for the treatment of jet lag.
Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in your body and that plays a major part in regulating your sleep-wake cycle.
Despite a number of studies, the jury is still out as far as melatonin is concerned, with opinion being divided on its effectiveness. This may however result in part from caution on the part of many people in the medical community because melatonin is, as yet, not regulated by any statutory authority.
So, if all of these methods fail to pass the test where is a jet lag cure to be found?
The answer lies in seeking a natural solution to the problem and formulating a plan of action to follow before you travel, during your flight and after your arrival.
Such a plan would look at your current sleeping pattern and consider small changes to your routine to start the process of adjustment in advance of your date of travel. It would cover a variety of topics including such things as diet, exercise, relaxation, the use of color and light therapy and the addition of vitamin and herbal jet lag remedies to your daily routine.
Adjusting you internal body clock to bring it in line with local time is a natural process that requires a natural solution. Putting together a carefully constructed plan, and then following it, will greatly assist nature in bringing your body back into balance and in reducing jet lag symptoms while it does so.