The disruption of your body's sleep cycle after a long transcontinental flight-better known as jet lag-is the bane of every business traveler. Is there a way around it? Several new regimens and remedies claim to eliminate the stress and sleeplessness, but while they're promising, they can only treat jet lag-not cure it.
Business travel hotels are getting into the game. InterContinental Hotels (www.intercontinental.com) offer free jet lag recovery kits consisting of aromatherapy products such as gels and sprays, plus tips on how to adjust to a new time zone.
Pills are another treatment for jet lag. ENADAlert is a dietary supplement that contains a stabilized form of the coenzyme NADH, a naturally occurring substance. Taken an hour before your arrival time, it's said to relieve the effects of time zone changes. (Get more details at www.enadalert.com.)
Another popular remedy is melatonin, a hormone that is believed to help regulate sleep cycles. But according to the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, "The jury is still out on melatonin." There are no official standards of purity for melatonin supplements, and in a recent review by consumer product testing facility ConsumerLab.com, some pills fell short of their claims.
New regimens may also offer help for travelers who suffer from jet lag. Eddie Erlandson, a cardiovascular surgeon who co-founded and developed an integrated health program called Life Lessons, focuses his research on the biology of health and illness. "Jet lag is a fascinating example of the complexity of these systems," he says. Erlandson offers wellness "coaching" that helps patients modulate jet lag and maintain mental clarity when crossing time zones. For more on Life Lessons, visit his Web site www.worthethic.com.
Christopher Elliott is a writer and commentator and the editor of www.elliott.org.