New enzyme pill could prevent jet lag

Added 25/08/2010

Man looking at watch

Travelling halfway around the world can be a real adventure, and every year, thousands of Britons decide to visit far flung places such as western USA, Australia and New Zealand. But many of us are put off visiting countries in different time zones because of the effect it has on our body clocks. But what if there was a way to prevent jet lag?

A new enzyme pill is currently being tested that could prevent jet lag. So far, tests on mice have led to positive results — the drug resets the mouse’s body clock, suggesting that it’s possible to prevent jet lag.

When we take a long haul flight to a country in a different time zone, jet lag can sometimes ruin the start of a holiday. For the first few days of your holiday, you could suffer from fatigue, disorientation and interrupted sleep.

While the new jet lag drug is being tested, there are certain things you can do yourself to try to prevent jet lag. Before you travel, try to spend a week or so adjusting your eating and sleeping habits by an hour each day.

Dehydration can be a symptom of jet lag, so drink plenty of water during your flight. Adjust your watch at the beginning of the flight to start getting used to the new time zone as early as possible. Sleep on the plane at the correct time in the place you will be visiting. You may feel tired, but adjusting your sleeping pattern early will ensure you suffer less over the first few days of your holiday. Take an eye mask and ear plugs to help you sleep if it’s noisy inside the cabin.

If it’s daytime when you arrive at your destination, spend as much time outside as you can as the sun will help you to ward off tiredness. During the first few days, eat light meals to give your digestive system time to adjust to the new regime.