Term Paper: Jet Lag and Cite Four

Pages: 5 (1408 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Transportation  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Sleep

Its best if you can sleep on the plane. Earplugs, eyeshades, and a comfortable neck pillow are well worth the effort of packing if they prevent you from losing a day to jet lag. Try to take care of as many travel details as possible before you leave so that flight day is stress and anxiety-free, and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Set your watch to the destination time as soon as you board the plane.

Noise cancellation

For a high-tech solution, especially if you like to listen to music as you rest, try our noise cancellation headsets rather than your own headset. It generates its own "anti-sound waves" to counteract the noise in the cabin.

Avoid alcohol

While a drink or two may relax you, alcohol can dehydrate you, making your symptoms worse. Avoid sleeping pills and mind-altering pharmaceuticals on the day you fly.

Drink Water

Lots of it. Plan on 8 to 16 ounces during each hour of travel. Taking your own water bottle can save you the awkwardness of repeatedly pressing the "call button" for another glass of water, and will help you resist caffeinated and sugared drinks, which can actually make you more dehydrated. Collapsible Platy Bottles are a good choice, since they don't require much space when they're empty. Have a nice, long hot bath when you arrive to rehydrate and relax.


Long periods of sitting on an airplane, bus, or train are hard on your body. Walking and stretching exercises in flight will help your body adjust to the new climate. To help reset your body clock, try to stay awake until bedtime rather than taking a nap upon arrival - spending time outdoors seems to help most travelers.

Its interesting to note that exposure to bright sunlight cures most people of jet lag in just a few days. Some travelers may still suffer from sleep disruptions but the stimulation from bight light can help alleviate that and return the body clock to its normal cycle.

According to Polsdorfer, when people are without clocks in a compartment that is completely closed to sunlight, most of them fall into a circadian cycle of about 25 hours. Normally, all the regulating chemicals follow one another in order like threads in a weaving pattern. Every morning the sunlight resets the cycle, stimulating the leading chemicals and thus compensating for the difference between the 24-hour day and the 25-hour innate rhythm.

Alternatively, eating a high protein diet and drinking lots of water can prevent dehydration and leg cramping problems. it's also wise to adjust your schedule whenever possible to avoid long duration flights.


As with remedies for baldheads, so too there are dozens of factual, fictional and fanciful antidotes for jet lag. You can try, for example, to get rid of jet lag by fasting and feasting, by not eating, by sleeping, by staying awake, and more. One cure I read about advised passengers to "wear brown paper grocery bags inside their shoes." Do any of these work? Yes and no. I have found that some don't work at all (like the grocery bags), some work some of the time, and some only work in combination with others. Most, however, even if they don't completely cure it, do curtail jet lag. So try some of the following techniques for yourself to find out which jet lag cure works best for you.

The airlines are working hard to try and make air travel more comfortable with roomier seats and wider areas for leg room but that alone won't eliminate jet lag. Jet lag will continue to plague our society but taking precautions, and following some simple rules can help alleviate or even curb the annoying side effects of jet lag. Anyone who flies for a living or travel extensively needs to be aware of how the body reacts to extended periods of light depravation and cramping in small confined areas.


Delagrange, P., and B. Guardiola-Lemaitre. "Melatonin, Its Receptors, and Relationships with Biological Rhythm Disorders." Clinical Neuropharmacology 20(December 1997): 482-510.

Paulson, E. "Travel Statement on Jet Lag." CMAJ 155(July 1, 1996): 61-66.

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