Many people travel across several time zones during the year, whether that is across the United States or one of the oceans. A real problem with this, of course, is jet lag. In my world, jet lag basically means I am either too sleepy or too tired to do what I really want to do – whether that is a fun activity or trying to get down to business.
Fortunately, there are several low-risk interventions that can be used to help either prevent or treat jet lag. They can more or less be categorized into either sleep hygiene or maintenance of wakefulness. In terms of sleep hygiene, melatonin has the most evidence for benefit. This commonly used sleep aid can be given shortly before a flight and then every night for about 3 nights afterward to help get a good night’s sleep and adjust to a new schedule.
In terms of wakefulness, I have found slow-release caffeine to be very useful if taken every morning for 4 to 5 days at my new destination. The appropriate formula avoids the ups and downs of drinking several coffees during the day and gives a nice basal rate of wakefulness. In addition, NADH has been used for the same purpose and seems to help.
One final interesting intervention is the use of glycine. Our Jet Lag therapy is given intravenously for rapid relief along with the recommendations above. Glycine is an important amino acid in terms of neurotransmission, and there is some data to suggest that it helps with short-term memory tasks as well as concentration. It is recommended by the Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition as a potential treatment for jet lag. Our Jet Lag IV features glycine, electrolytes, and hydration and we recommend you getting this IV before and after your next flight!
Overall, we all want to enjoy our time if we have flown for hours and hours. These small interventions, including other ones such as avoiding too much alcohol and dehydration, may help you maximize your happiness, work, or both.