Jet Lag The longer your
flight the more likely you are to suffer problems. Flights going eastwards
usually seem to cause more problems than flights travelling
1. Unless you cannot survive without a cigarette avoid
the smoking section on planes. Smoke will dry out your sinuses, affect your eyes
and produce a variety of other symptoms. The air inside a plane is already
unusually dry - smoke makes it worse.
2. Avoid heavy meals before
and during travel. Light snacks are much better for you.
drinks such as tea and coffee which contain caffeine. Flying tends to cause
dehydration and caffeine makes this worse.
4. If you are flying at
night take ear plugs and a mask with you and try to sleep during the
5. Drink lots of water or fruit juice during the flight -
that's what pilots do to help them keep fresh and alert. Avoid alcohol - it's
likely to make you feel worse.
6. Use plenty of moisturising cream
on your skin before flying. The dry air inside a plane can make the skin dry and
7. Suck peppermints during your flight. The pressure inside
aicraft cabins is low and this means that any gas inside your intestines will
expand. This can be very painful. Peppermint helps to reduce the pain and
8. If you suffer from sinus troubles or have a cold
swallow frequently to even out the pressure in your sinuses. If you feel pain
developing in your ears or sinuses hold your nose and blow very gently. You
might need to take a decongestant two hours before flying or use a nasal spray
or drops before the plane descends.
9. Try to get up and walk
about once an hour on long flights. If you can't do that then at least make sure
that you move your feet and legs at regular intervals to help keep blood moving
around your body. Blood clots are among the commonest cause of death among
travellers - and sitting still for long periods makes them more likely. Why the
media only seem to have discovered this fact recently I cannot imagine. I've
been warning about this for around twenty years.
10. Make no plans
at all for the first 24 hours after your plane touches down. Just take things
easy. Keep strenuous, exciting or demanding activities for later in your trip.
Copyright Vernon Coleman 2003