Traveling soon? Don’t forget your jet lag breakfast solution

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jet-lag-breakfast-solution(NaturalHealth365)  We have unprecedented access to almost any corner of the world via airplane, and as wonderful as that is, extensive travel can upset the delicate balance of our circadian rhythm.  Not having energy or getting quality sleep for a few days due to jet lag is something any air traveler can understand.

But a new study might give hope to the weary, jet-lagged traveler.  Partaking in a large breakfast upon arriving at your destination can help reset or, at minimum, stabilize your circadian rhythm.  This sets you up for a much faster recalibration of your sleeping/waking cycles and staves off many of the horrors of jet lag.

Whenever science presents a solution to a problem through a big breakfast, it’s worth paying attention to, so let’s brew some coffee and take a look at the study.

Jet lag is more than just low energy

Scientists have known for a very long time that jet lag affects our circadian rhythms.  All mammals operate on a series of internal cycles that recognize a 24-hour clock based on sunrise, and humans are no different.

When you travel in a way that the sun never sets, or perhaps it’s dark during the majority of your travel, your delicate internal rhythms get upended.

Some implications suggest that consistent imbalances in circadian rhythm actually drive aging.  Everyone knows that lack of sleep is not good for you, but consistently messed up sleep schedules are even worse than you might initially think, and jet lag exacerbates these negative effects.  These effects intensify as we age because these systems become bad at communicating with one another.

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The point is that if you can do anything to mitigate the effects of jet lag, it is very important that you do so, and this study provides a simple, delicious solution.

Feasting your way to jet lag relief: The surprising role of food in resetting your body clock

Jet lag is a common woe for air travelers, often leading to a struggle to adjust to new time zones.  One frequently overlooked factor contributing to this problem is excessive eating and snacking during travel.  Long flights can be monotonous, and indulging in food offers a temporary respite from boredom.  However, it appears that constant consumption of food can further complicate the intricate circuits of our circadian rhythms and their communication with other internal systems.

Interestingly, a silver lining in this issue emerges from a study that suggests a substantial meal can assist in recalibrating our internal circadian rhythm circuits.  Deliberately sitting down to a hearty breakfast upon reaching your destination can serve as an anchor for your system and the various processes responsible for regulating wakefulness and sleep, including cortisol production.

The psychological aspect also plays a significant role.  When you arrive at your destination, have breakfast, and proceed with your day – regardless of how fatigued you may feel – you are effectively signaling to your body that it is morning and time to kickstart your activities.  This, in turn, primes your body for rest when evening arrives.

Five more tips to offset the effects of jet lag

Ultimately, there are many more things that you can do to stave off the worst effects of jet lag.  Here are five tips to help you adjust more smoothly to your new time zone:

1.  Gradual adjustment:  Start adapting to your destination’s time zone a few days before your trip by gradually shifting your sleep schedule.  Move your bedtime and wake-up time one hour earlier or later each day until you match the new time zone.  This method can ease your body into the transition.

2.  Stay hydrated:  Dehydration can exacerbate jet lag symptoms like fatigue and headaches.  Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight to stay properly hydrated.

3.  Optimize sleep:  Make the most of your in-flight rest by using earplugs, an eye mask, and a neck pillow for comfort.  Consider packing a cozy travel blanket and noise-canceling headphones to create a peaceful sleep environment.

4.  Avoid alcohol and caffeine:  Alcohol and caffeine can disrupt your sleep patterns, making it harder to combat jet lag.  Instead, opt for herbal tea or water, especially as you approach bedtime.

5.  Natural light exposure:  Spend time outdoors in natural daylight at your destination.  Sunlight helps reset your internal body clock, making it easier to adapt to the new time zone.  Conversely, reduce exposure to artificial light in the evening to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down.

6. Get grounded: As soon as possible, put your bare feet on the ground in a park or beach setting to feel the earth.  Do this for at least 45 minutes and you will feel so much better!

By following these tips, you can enhance your travel experience and minimize the impact of jet lag, allowing you to make the most of your trip.  Safe travels!

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