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Tricks to deceive your body and protect it against the perils of jet lag

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When you fly for a long time — over the ocean or above your own huge country — what you get upon arrival, apart from deep satisfaction, is jet lag, the uncomfortable feeling of being in a time zone where night and day have traded places. Previously, when the destination could only be reached by train, steamer or coach, there was no such thing: the body had ample time to readjust. These days, brain cannot cope with the speed of jets and the sequence of time zones (or dates), and our little grey cells riot against it, making us hibernate when everyone’s up or keeping us completely alert when everyone’s fast asleep. How can the brain grasp that departing from New Zealand early Tuesday morning, it will land (hopefully inside its owner) in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon? Teachers used to tell it, poor thing, that time machines were impossible, that there’s always “tomorrow” after “today”, not the other way around! It turns out, though, that the winged machine produced by Boeing or Airbus Industries is the time machine. And because of the machine’s time-travelling properties, the brain revolts inside the skull, the natural software gets bugged, the body hunkers down, vital functions get disrupted.

How can you fight the jet lag? Is it even possible?

The solution is simple: live by the sun in any time zone. From minute one. If it’s morning or daytime where you are, however drowsy you feel, there’s just one thing to do: open your eyes and fake vivacity. You may allow yourself a couple hours’ nap after lunch, like in childhood.

How do you implement the defence plan in real life? Easy. If it’s evening at your destination, draw up the curtains (especially if they’re blackout curtains), dive into bed and make yourself sleep. Why with drawn curtains? Because in the morning the sun will wake you up, bring back to life, charge with energy.

If it’s daylight at your destination, be firm, survive until the evening, goto bed only when it’s dark. So that you could — repetition is the mother of learning — wake up with the first rays of the sun. Okay, with the second.

And then, waking up in the light, you feel quite good, you feel at home, you feel as if you’re in your own time zone. Don’t put your stock in coffee! Just the sun! And, maybe, an especially loud and unpleasantly sounding alarm clock.

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