4 Natural Remedies for Jet Lag

4 Natural Remedies for Jet Lag

Whether you travel by air occasionally or are a real road warrior, jet lag can sometimes impede your performance. Feelings of being sluggish, unfocused and foggy are some symptoms of jet lag but it could go even deeper, affecting your business performance or slowing down a long planned vacation.

Don’t let air travel take away your edge by applying one or more of these 4 natural remedies for jet lag. It’s probably better than pots of coffee, conventional stimulants or sleeping pills that  often come with side effects.

A Study of Baseball Pros

If you don’t think jet lag is an issue, a study of major league baseball players published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences as reported by the Washington Post (sans number stats) found that,

  • Teams suffering from jet lag gave up more runs, on average
  • Pitchers, suffered from eastward travel [and] they tended to give up additional home runs during each game
  • On offense, those playing at home successfully stole fewer bases and hit fewer doubles. Furthermore, they had fewer at-bats to even attempt those doubles

The in-between percentages of each statistic was minimal, but Ravi Allada, a circadian rhythms expert from Northwestern University who led the study commented,

“Jet lag does impair the performance of Major League Baseball players,…The negative effects of jet lag we found are subtle, but they are detectable and significant. And they happen on both offense and defense and for both home and away teams, often in surprising ways.”

So, if major league ball players are being affected by jet lag, chances are you may need a remedy or two.

Mighty Melatonin

The supplement melatonin is used to help “re-set” your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) when your natural production of melatonin is impeded by traveling to another time zone.

An increase of melatonin signals the body that, “biological night” is beginning which starts shutting down the body for rest. When there is too little melatonin, the body is triggered into rising mode. As you experience meridian travel this process becomes confused causing jet lag.

Taking melatonin during the afternoon to evening hours in your new time zone may help get you back on track. Published in Pharmacy and Therapeutics: A Peer-Reviewed for Managed Care and Hospital Formulary Management, a jet lag study from April 2011 stated that,

“Melatonin’s utility in the management of jet lag has been the subject of many studies. When making travel plans, particularly over a distance of five or more time zones, travelers should take melatonin on the day of travel at the projected nighttime hour in the new time zone and on subsequent days in the new time zone. In the case of flights that cross seven to eight time zones, it may be beneficial to initiate melatonin one to three days before the intended day of travel in order to better acclimate the traveler to the new time zone.”

Homeopathy: Vibration Therapy

The remedies of homeopathy have not been validated by medical science but, with its over 200 year old practice, is still helping people today. Some swear by the law of similars it is based on meaning that each remedy works on a like-cures-like basis.

When it comes to jet lag, the sources of homeopathic remedies, in whole form, would give you similar symptoms. However, the way homeopathy is prepared it is alleged that the “vibration” of the source is enough to “burn out” symptoms.

It is important to note that homeopathic remedies are most potent taken under your tongue in either pellet or liquid form. Some recommend remedies dissolved in water but others warn of being weakened by the digestive system. Also, never touch a remedy with your hands and take a half hour before or after meals.

These remedies, either solo or combined, have been shown to significantly help reduce jet lag for many people.

  • Arnica montana (Leopard’s bane)
  • Bellis perennis (Daisy)
  • Chamomilla (Wild chamomile)
  • Ipecacuanha (Ipecac)
  • Lycopodium (Clubmoss)

Take twice per day before, during and after your trip.

Runner Ups: V-Root and The L-Tryp

Valerian root has been used for centuries to assist sleep and relaxation. It has the ability in some  cases to reduce tossing and turning by calming the central nervous system (CNS) through an increase of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Extra GABA means reducing nerve activity which results in a release of stressed muscles leading to sleep.

L-Tryptophan is the amino acid in turkey that makes everyone fall asleep at Thanksgiving. In supplement form it can be used as a jet lag remedy. An archived study by the Naval Health Research Center titled Jet Lag In Military Operations: Field Trial Of L-Tryptophan In Reducing Bleep-Loss Effects concluded that,

“L-tryptophan administration increased total sleep time on the first night after arrival, and this increase in sleep was associated with faster reaction time in the evening the following day. As far as we are aware, this study is the first demonstration that improving sleep by psychopharmacological means is associated with enhanced performance the next day.”

The next time you travel by plane to another time zone do yourself a favor and stay hydrated, attempt as much sleep as possible and use some or all of these remedies to keep your system firing on all cylinders.