How to avoid jet lag

Helping your body adjust to a changed schedule. The abrupt changes in time zones experienced in air travel can seriously disrupt the body’s daily cycles. So can a change from day work to night work. The disruption most noticeably affects sleeping and eating patterns. Full adjustment of all bodily rhythms may take a week or longer.

Taking certain steps may minimize jet lag. Prepare your body by gradually changing your sleeping and eating schedules to what they will be at your destination. In flight, avoid alcoholic beverages; they increase fatigue.

Jet-lag diet

You may want to try a four-day regimen that has helped some overcome jet lag. Starting 4 days prior to arrival at your destination, you alternate feast days and fast days. Feast on the first and third days by eating a highprotein breakfast and lunch and a high-carbohydrate dinner; fast on the second and fourth days, eating salads, soups, fruits, juices, and only a slice or two of unbuttered bread or toast. When you arrive, eat a highprotein breakfast.

During the diet’s first 3 days, drink caffeinated beverages between 3 P.M. and 5 P.M. only. On the fourth day, drink them in the morning if you are traveling west; between 6 P.M. and 11 P.M. if you are heading east. You can get the full text of the diet by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Antijet-Lag Diet, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700S. Cass Avenue, Argonne, Ill. 60439.

If you travel frequently, you may want to discuss with your doctor the various drugs that are sometimes prescribed to counter jet lag.