As I’m sitting here in seat 88D on this A380, I’m overhearing some women talk near the toilets at the back of this plane. We are 12 hours into our 16 hour flight across the Pacific Ocean and I’ve just woken up. One of the women is twitchy, moving around for fear of being still, she hasn’t had one wink of sleep – her chair wouldn’t recline much, she was wearing tight pants, there wasn’t much leg room, the flight attendants weren’t smiling………there was a myriad of excuses. She is a Canadian woman coming to Australia for a four day conference though she has allowed herself four days to get over the jet lag first. I think she’s going to need it.
I fly on long haul flights a few times a year now as part of my a Bowen Therapy teaching and being an IIPA (International Iridology Practitioners Assoc) Board member. I have dabbled with a few ways to overcome jet lag which is a huge issue in east-west travel. Often when I fly, I don’t have the luxury of four days to overcome jet lag – there’s been times when I’ve landed and had to go straight to a Board meeting for the rest of the day. Then during our instructors meetings and symposiums, often there isn’t even time to go out of the hotel unless you want to squeeze in a 9.30pm show! This particular trip I was very blessed to have three or four days before our conference started to myself – Sandy suggested I have a few days by myself in New York (favourite city in the world) to actually ‘relax’ which was a fabulous idea – though I actually chose to go to Chicago instead and visit my wonderful friends there that I met 26 year ago when I was a student at the Uni of Illinois.
Anyway – I’m digressing – back to jet lag. Lately, I have been experiencing very little, if any, jet lag. To start with I’m a good sleeper. Six hours is enough for me and I feel good with this amount. So I would like to share my ‘jet lag free travel’ recipe with you:
My ‘jet lag free travel’ recipe is that as soon as I sit in my seat when we’re boarding, I plan my time according to the time at the destination. I don’t think – ‘Well it’s 11am in Australia and 6pm in Chicago’! The mind is a very important and amazing tool. It listens to us. It listens to the words we say. Many people use affirmations to help with their lives – they are simply words you tell yourself to make them manifest. This is the same – you change your thinking of the time to that of your destination. I don’t wear a watch so I check the destination time on my iPhone – however if you do wear a watch then change it then and there. So, for example when I was flying to the US of A it was 11am In Australia, though it was 6pm in Chicago (previous day – though don’t even think of things like the previous day or the next day – your brain doesn’t care about the date – just get the time right!), so I decided I was going to sleep at around 11pm (see I’m already not even considering the time at my departure).
Another part of my ‘Jet lag recipe’ is movies – I really relax watching movies (though I never watch action or violent ones – that wouldn’t be relaxing!) and on a flight I really get to chill out cause often I’m too cramped to get my computer out and really work, there’s no wifi to answer the myriad of emails I get and often I’ve had a very busy family time pre departure, so I’m really looking forward to my movies. As the rest of the passengers were boarding I whizzed through my movies and picked three that would get me to close to 11pm. They were all fabulous and left me feeling relaxed and loving – it’s a good idea to pick a feel good movie just before sleep time! Then I slept – I got up once or twice to go to the toilet though you can’t let yourself get seduced into watching more movies or playing games before its time to wake up. I didn’t want to be awake at 3.25am (Chicago time) so it’s straight back to eyes closed. Even if it’s not total REM. Dreamy sleep, it’s still resting.
So the next crucial ingredient in the recipe is hydration – I’m only a social drinker so I never drink alcohol when I’m on my own – though for some people it helps them relax – so go for it but don’t over do it – I know it’s free and the little bottles look so cute – but they aren’t part of the ‘Jet lag recipe’. Also tea and coffee is dehydrating so I’ll only have 1-2 of these drinks and lots and lots of water or sparkling water to mix it up. Hydration is paramount – a nine hour flight is the same electro-magnetic radiation as a chest X-ray, so as I sit here from LAX – Melbourne I’m almost having two chest X-rays – your body needs help to deal with that. I’m not going to get into Electro-Magnetic radiation in this article as its a huge topic and is next on my list…….
So did you get that? Hydration is very, very, very important?
Next and very crucial part of the recipe is you have to have lots of good nutrition and anti-oxidants to cope. I always order a Hindi-Vegetarian meal as I find these have the least gluten and are very tasty and I always avoid the bread rolls. Gluten isn’t going to do me any favours. Though if I’m being honest I don’t always avoid the warm croissants when breakfast is served – I have a weakness for them! As well as what I’m actually eating i always take my supplements – what I’ve found works best for jet lag is a very strong Multi Vitamin/Mineral/antioxidant formula, Turmeric as an anti-inflammatory and CoQ10. I take these with a meal just before I fly and then again sometime in the flight – after I’ve woken up from sleeping. When we board I also have Rescue Remedy drops and have other doses during the flight. Chewing gum on take-off and landing will help with your ear pressure – however find a good organic one that doesn’t use Asapartame. I use Spry.
I wouldn’t dream of trying my jet lag recipe without these supplements – you need to be organised before departure. You might need others too – like homeopathic sleep drops if you have trouble sleeping.
So, back to my example of the flight over to the USA. After a 6 hour sleep I had a little walk around and did some stretching at the back of the plane then I did about two hours of work preparation for our IIPA Board meeting. If I’ve got work to do I try to do that straight away as I board or after a sleep so that I can treat myself to another movie before we land. We had less than two hours to landing and the movie (Our Brand is Crisis with Sandra Bullock) is 1:47. Ohh a bit risky – it finished just before the doors opened at the gate – Phew!
I arrived in LAX around 6am though it wasn’t really 6am – it was 8am in Chicago and that is where my head was! By the time I got through customs and security it was 10am – there was an hour before my next flight and I knew I wouldn’t be getting any food on the domestic flight. The Jet lag free travel recipe will struggle if you’re starving! Therefore I thought I needed to have lunch – what better way to nourish myself than with an organic burrito with tofu and guacamole – yum yum yum.
I was arriving in Chicago at 4pm and my body needed to think it had lunch. Crucial! It had been so hot back in the King Valley before I left so I was delighted to get out of the airport doors and need to wear gloves and a scarf – so exciting.
Usually my body might be out of whack by an hour or two but this time it was spot on – I fell asleep at 1am (after amazing Chicago style spinach pizza for dinner and catching up with my lovely friends) and woke up at 7.30am feeling great – and it snowed that day! I was so excited!
Six hours of sleep is my magic number – if you need eight – then work with that! Here’s a recap of the JET LAG FREE TRAVEL RECIPE……
Have a high quality Multi Vitamin/Mineral/Antioxidant formula, a Turmeric or other liver tonic supplement and CoQ10
Change your time as soon as you board to that of your destination – think in that time – use your phone or other device to help. Plan your movies, book reading and other entertainment on board.
Eat healthy food options and avoid overeating.
Sleep at the correct time in your destination – if you’re tired and falling asleep at the wrong time then have some more water and walk around.
Sleep 6-8 hours. (Treat yourself to a good movie or book just before sleep)
Avoid alcohol, coffee and tea (a little would be OK)
Always think in your destination time.
Go to sleep at the correct time at your destination.
Enjoy the ride.