I have been in the airline industry for 27 years…20 of them as a flight attendant, so flying the friendly or not so friendly sky’s is what I do and what I do frequently.
I know when I fly through different time zones to Europe and across the continent it makes sense that I experience jet lag, which by definition is an imbalance of the normal circadian rhythm resulting from subsonic or supersonic travel through a varied number of time zones and leading to fatigue, irritability, and various functional disturbances. So of course I would be tired, when taking off at 7am NY time is really 4am LA time, in the same lines trying to go to bed 10pm LA time when it’s really 7pm NY time. This can really put your body’s time clock which is your body’s Circadian rhythm out of whack!
So as I age and continue my career, I fly flights that are shorter and in the same time zone, I try to sleep a minimum of 8 hrs and stay on a steady schedule as much as possible.
But a few months ago I was quite surprised and noticed that even when I did not change time zones and just slept a solid 7 hrs, I still felt tired and experienced the symptoms of “jet lag”
I started doing research on this and found the lack of oxygen on airplanes can be the culprit. Experts say that there is a link between environmental levels of oxygen and susceptibility to jet lag. An airplane’s cabin air pressure is much lower than it is at sea level, meaning that the amount of oxygen reaching the brain may be lower when most people are flying. This may make us slightly lethargic.
The air is often cited as the culprit. Airlines are actually very careful about this, changing the filters and making sure the system is clean. The air is partially recycled, as it has to be. 100% fresh air is not possible. A pilot explained it to me once and I forget the details but it has to do with temperature and cabin pressure.
Dehydration can also be a big factor… As flight attendants we are busy and forget to stay hydrated and as passengers, not being allowed to bring water through security and additional factors can lead to not getting enough liquids.
So I decided to go that extra level and change things up, and I must say I wasn’t surprised when it actually worked!
First and foremost I stay hydrated, the minute I get on the aircraft I grab a 64oz bottle of water and label it as my own… I make sure I drink the whole thing during that flight! I love to add Orange Want More Energy and Isagenix Greens to my water. Go through the ingredients and you will see that this helps with much needed vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants to help us stay energized and healthy! For my passengers, make sure you purchase a large bottle of water after security and before you get on the aircraft. Never know when those flight attendants are going to come down that aisle with the drink cart!
Pack your own lunch, stay away from airport food, airline food and hotel food, which are packed with sodium and preservatives… Eat plenty of low carb foods, and fresh fruits and veggies!! I love packing my Isa Lean Shake which is so easy to make on the aircraft just add water and shake! It fills you up and stops you from snacking. Studies show that when you are tired your body craves carbohydrates! The Isa Lean Bars are great too and easy to pack!
Along with staying hydrated and eating properly the most important aspect in all this and the one you cannot go without is EXERCISE! The body needs to get the blood circulating again and it needs oxygen throughout all its organs!!! So this has been really key for me.. After my flights, I go for a 4 mile walk… Yes even in the cold! It wakes me up and gets me going again. Your body needs oxygen.. Here is an interesting article I found on Mouse Travel Tours!