The Caffeine Cure for Jet Lag

After taking a long airline flight that crosses several time zones, most people experience difficulty adjusting to the schedule of mornings and nights at their point of arrival.  When the traveler is “out of step” with the new time zone, he is said to suffer from “jet lag,” which is really a disturbance of the biological clock.  People suffering from jet lag can often require two or even three days to recover fully.  And, during the adjustment period, they cannot enjoy the vacation they looked forward to or effectively transact the business that they came to accomplish.

Diet Coke, Coke Zero

However, if you are a coffee lover, you can beat jet lag by consuming caffeine strategically.  Doing so requires that you stop using caffeine by the day before your flight and then begin consuming caffeine again as soon as you arrive.  This technique will allow you to use caffeine to “reset your biological clock” to the new time zone you have entered and greatly diminish jet lag.

Here’s how it works.  Add two to the number of cups of coffee you drink daily.  That gives you the number of days you should use to taper off caffeine so that you won’t experience much, if any, discomfort.  Cut down one cup of coffee each day.  Then, switch to drinking Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Zero.  Start with two 12 ounce servings of Diet Coke or Coca-Cola Zero, then switch to one 12 ounce serving, and, finally, on the last day, skip them entirely.  The secret is that, while these soft drinks contain much less caffeine than coffee, they have enough caffeine to help you gently make the transition from coffee to no caffeine at all.  Then, if you arrive during the day, resume consuming the full amount of caffeine you had been consuming before.  If you arrive at night, get a good night’s sleep and resume consuming the full amount of caffeine when you wake up.  In this way, you will hit the ground running and find your biological clock is in synch with your new surroundings.

The “caffeine cure” for jet lag is easy, safe, and can enable you to enjoy and make use of every precious day of your travels!

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