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Hints to recover from holiday travel jet lag

November 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
If you're flying this holiday, there are a lot of things to factor in like long lines, full flights and cranky travelers.Don't forget to prepare yourself for jet lag, too. One sleep expert has some tips for how to stay energized, even when you're traveling across time zones.

That feeling of being a little off your game may be jet lag.

"Jet lag usually occurs if you cross more than two time zones. The symptoms of jet lag are anything from feeling a certain off feeling to an inability to fall asleep to dizziness to nausea, sweating and indigestion," said sleep expert Michael Breus.

There is no question that jet lag is a drag, but it doesn't have to be if you follow these simple steps to reset your body clock.

Try not to fly at night and make sure you get good rest two or three nights before. Studies now show that people get the worst sleep the night before they travel.

Make sure you get sunlight and a little bit of exercise once you land. Maintain that hydration and make sure that you're eating appropriately because alcohol in the air and caffeine can make jet lag significantly worse.

Most travelers recover from jet lag quickly, although it can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours per time zone to bounce back. That's up to three days if you're traveling from Los Angeles to New York.

"If you're looking at recovery times for jet lag, the general rule is one day per time zone. However, if you're traveling westwardly, and remember, 'west is best,' usually it's a half a day, whereas if you're traveling eastwardly, it's usually one full day recovery per time zone," Breus explained.


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