When you're on the road you need to be at your best.
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If you're groggy and lethargic, your clients may see it as a sign that your business doesn't have the pep and vigor to go the distance on their behalf. The bottom line is that you have to find a way to beat jet lag before it beats you.
For a lot of travelers, jet lag is shrouded in an aura of mystery and misinformation. That's unfortunate because in reality, jet lag is a simple physiological phenomenon that can be avoided with a little effort and initiative. The cause of jet lag is believed to a disruption of the "light/dark" cycle that governs the body's circadian rhythm. When an individual travels across time zones, the body struggles to adapt to periods of darkness and light that are out of sync with its internal clock. For some, the resulting disequilibrium manifests itself in symptoms like fatigue, headaches, dehydration, and grogginess – a.k.a. jet lag.
Even though there are no guarantees against jet lag, there are several things you can do to minimize the possibility that it will derail your next business trip.
The best time to treat your jet lag is before it occurs. It's common sense that traveling with a hangover is an invitation for the worst jet lag you've ever experienced. But staying up late the night before can be just as disastrous. Finish packing early and get a good night's sleep to give your body a fighting chance in-flight.
Time & Direction
There is a lot of debate about whether or not the time and direction of your flight influences the amount of jet lag you experience. Although some believe it's strictly a matter of personal preference, there is evidence to suggest that westward, daytime flights minimize jet lag and its symptoms.
Dehydration is one of the primary symptoms of jet lag, so it's important to stay hydrated while traveling by air. When it comes to hydration, there's no substitute for a good old-fashioned glass of water. Even though alcohol, soft drinks, and coffee may be appealing, they can have a dehydrating effect on your body.
Try to move around as much as possible during your flight. Even a periodic stroll up and down the aisle can have a noticeable impact on your health and well-being. Frequent movement also has the additional benefit of preventing the formation of blood clots and other related ailments.
Despite your best efforts, you may still experience symptoms of jet lag. Whenever possible, build an adequate amount of recovery time into your travel itinerary. The rule of thumb is that it takes one day to full recover from each time zone you cross. If your travels take you across multiple time zones, it may be impractical to build enough time in your schedule to fully recover from jet lag. However, it might be wise to schedule the important meeting with your client a day or two after you have arrived at your destination.