TRAVELLERS who are heavily affected by jet lag may be able to reduce the symptoms by fasting before they fly.
The method has been used by the CIA, US Army and celebrities, and could be faster than slowly adjusting your sleep pattern.
Jet lag refers to a whole range of symptoms people experience while adjusting to a new time zone and different daylight hours, and it can affect anyone.
While there are a whole host of ways to help you get over jet lag, one of the most effective ways of avoiding it altogether is to slowly adjust your sleeping patterns over time before you travel.
However, this is very time consuming and can take a lot of planning.
But fasting before you travel can speed up the process – and variations of this has been used since the 80s.
You can avoid jet lag by fasting for 14-16 hours before breakfast time in the time zone to which you are headed. I’ve done this 4 times in the last two months and it really works. h/t @sexpospsych for the 411
I use a trick to fix my sleep cycle that I read about as a jetlag solution and it has NEVER let me down: start fasting 8 hours before your desired wake up time (and have a little nibble of something at least when you get up)
The original was the Argonne Anti-Jet-Lag-Diet, which involved alternating between fasting and feasting with a complicated prescribed diet – and it was the version that the CIA supposedly used.
But a new fasting method, created after research by a team at Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, has made the process easier.
Dr. Clifford Saper, who led the research, explained: "Because the body's clock can only shift a small amount each day, it takes the average person about a week to adjust to the new time zone."
Their research found that by fasting, the hunger could trigger reactions that override the internal biological clock.
There are three key steps to the diet.
The first is that you should stop eating from the time you get to the airport – about two hours before departure.
You should also avoid eating on the flight, but still drink lots of water.
And when you land, you should eat as soon as possible at the local meal time.
It means that you're starving your body between 12 and 16 hours.
After the fast, a high protein breakfast and a high carb dinner will help the body stay awake at the correct times.
A study of US soldiers travelling to North Korea found those who followed the diet had less jet lag than those who didn't follow it, according to the Harvard Business Review.
Fasting is not suitable for all travellers however – those with diabetes or are on medication that requires a full stomach are advised against following it.
Some of the ways Brits combat jet-lag include eating cherries and planning a party, according to a recent study.
The most popular way to avoid the symptoms, however, was to stay awake until bed time when getting home.
Other ways to avoid jet lag are to limit the amount of alcohol being drunk and to wear comfortable clothing during the flight.
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