Are you jet-setting somewhere tropical in July? I usually fly to Canada, my native land. It’s only three time zones away, but I ALWAYS get hit with a wicked case of jet lag. It zaps my energy and my usual joie de vivre. That’s because it usually takes a day for each time zone traveled for your body clock to catch up, plus traveling east often takes a bigger toll than traveling west. But this year I’m arming myself with some natural remedies courtesy of Dr. Shannon Treen, NMD, a Naturopathic Physician who practices and does nutritional health consulting in Phoenix. Read on for her jet lag fixes….
Dr. Shannon Treen’s Natural Remedies for Jet Lag
Jet lag is a condition of circadian rhythm disruption due to travel where multiple time zones are crossed. It’s typically thought of as a sleep cycle disorder, but can also affect the jet setter’s ability to adjust in terms of hunger and digestion, hormone function, and temperature regulation. However, there is a natural path to ensure a bon voyage. The best remedies are as follows:
Valerian root – This herb has an immediate effect, relaxing the mind and body in preparation for sleep. It is also a miraculous fix for anxiety during travel, which can improve one’s ability to acclimate to a new time zone. Take at bedtime upon arrival to your final destination.
Siberian ginseng – Not to be confused with Asian ginseng, Siberian ginseng is an adaptogen, meaning that it helps the body to cope with stress. However, it must be taken for two weeks prior to travel and throughout as it produces a gradual effect in helping the body to be more adaptable to change.
Melatonin – Melatonin is a neurotransmitter that acts to induce sleep and neutralize oxidative stress for rejuvenation. This is taken before the new bedtime for immediate results. Melatonin is also an antioxidant, which can help neutralize the damaging and toxic effects of travel.
Vitamin C and B complex – Both nutrients are known as powerful antioxidants and adrenal supporters to regulate cortisol, a hormone that can be thrown out of whack when crossing time zones. They also support the immune system during a period of confined exposure to many different microbes, people and chemicals. Effervescent packages are available with both nutrients and can easily be carried to use throughout travel.
Finally, a few simple lifestyle changes can be made to mitigate jet lag by increasing water intake, limiting or avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and gradually changing sleep and wake times to the destination time zone prior to the trip. Here’s to happy wander-lusting!