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How to beat Jet Lag when travelling East

August 11, 2014

I get a lot of questions regarding Jetlag when travelling east on business - For our biological body clock travelling east is harder in terms of jetlag, most people end up with some degree of delayed sleep phase disorder. There are some steps that you can take beforehand. If you are travelling on business avoid morning appointments and sleep late according to local time when you first arrive. So how do we prepare?

Here is a simple protocol to speed up or prevent jetlag when travelling east.

 

1) Supplements: Preload the body with vitamin B12 for a week before travelling. Supplementing B12 intensifies the pineal gland’s melatonin response to both bright lights and darkness. You should choose a brand containing methylcobalamin which is capable of influencing melatonin production. To efficiently absorb the B12 we want to bypass the digestive tract so the most efficient way to do this is find the small tablets that you put directly under the tongue.

 

2) Bright light and light exposure: Before you travel induce 40 mins of light exposure and create virtual darkness in the evening for every two time zones (two hours’ time difference) Second part is to impose virtual darkness in the evening and try to advance your bedtime an hour earlier for every hour earlier you get up from the bright light therapy. This will not move your biological clock to exactly the same time with your destination, but it moves it halfway offset the jetlag and allows you to carry on with your meetings before you travel pretty much is normal

 

  • Day 1 of preparation: Set your alarm clock to an hour earlier than usual and perform the bright light exposure for 30 to 40 minutes. If there is not enough natural sun use artificial light (the light should exceed 40w)
     

  • Day 2 of preparation: Set your alarm clock for 90 minutes earlier than normal time and expose to light 
     

  •  Set your alarm clock for two hours earlier and expose to artificial light if it is still dark outside Travelling West - Generally people have little or no difficulties with jetlag when travelling in this direction. When travelling west to effectively end up with a slight advanced sleep phase issues. You can organize it when you first arrive avoid late nights basically you want prepare by staying exposed to light later in the evenings coming up to the trip, and aim to wake up in total darkness for a day or two.Happy travelling.

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