Our body clock is a very intelligent feature, which can been thrown off as we travel hundreds of miles per hour, through multiple time zones. Michela Vaginini nutritionist at Nature’s Plus, has given us her top 5 tips for beating jet lag. She says, “Once your body’s natural 24-hour clock has been disrupted there is nothing that can completely beat jet lag. However, there are things you can do, to ease its symptoms and enjoy your holiday.”
1)Look at the Sun
To rebalance your day and night rhythm try to force yourself to get up just after sunrise. To boost your cortisol production, which is responsible for waking up in the morning, look towards the sun when waking, an open window will do the trick if you can’t get outside. In the evening, look at the sunset until it gets dark. This will stimulate melatonin production in your brain, which is also known as the ‘sleeping hormone’. To help your body relax take Dyno Mins Magnesium by Nature’s Plus (revital.co.uk, £17.75).
2)Stay away from COFFEE
Several studies have identified dietary components, such as glucose, sodium, ethanol or caffeine as capable of phase-shifting day and night rhythms. Be careful with sugary and junk foods that might have some stimulating additives or flavourings. Stay away from coffee, colas, teas and other energetic drinks or herbs. Be careful with crisps and salted peanuts – they are very high in salt. Try to reduce your salt intake to 2g a day max (1/2 teaspoon). Make sure you read labels as some snacks may contain MSG, which is a popular flavour enhancer, also known as a brain stimulant.
Having an alcoholic drink might seem like a good idea to help you fall asleep but in fact, it will compromise sleep quality and dehydrate you, making it more difficult to adapt to new time zones.
3)Turn off your phone
Long-time exposure to blue light from our phones, tablets and TVs can interfere with a production of melatonin and confuse our tired body, which will take it as a daylight and sign to stay awake.
4)Go for a walk
Sunlight stimulates the secretion of serotonin, known as a ‘happy’ hormone that will give you a quick boost of energy. In addition, when our body gets physically tired it induces a deeper better sleep.
5)Support your adrenal glands
These peanut-size masses of tissue located on top of your kidneys are essential for your stress response and sleeping patterns. When you are jet lagged they are doubling up their workload to keep you awake so they need an extra support. The most important nutrients for adrenal health are vitamins B, which you can find in eggs, organic meat, green leafy vegetables and whole grains (Don’t get tempted with sugary muffins!). Spirulina and algae extract are great super foods for our adrenal glands providing essential minerals and amino acids. To get a complete green foods blend, add a tablespoon of Nature’s Plus Green Lightning (revital.co.uk, £26.40) to your coconut water and feel the energy!