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Jet lag is catching


Jet lag is a real condition. It affects many of those that have to get on flights and travel around the world.

Jet lag, medically referred to as “desynchronosis,” is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms; it is classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders. Jet lag results from rapid long-distance transmeridian (east-west or west-east) travel, as on a jet plane.

The condition of jet lag may last several days, and a recovery rate of one day per time zonecrossed is a fair guideline.[1]


The symptoms of jet lag are varied and can affect the whole body.


The symptoms of jet lag can be quite varied, depending on the amount of time zone alteration. They may include the following:[2]

Other symptoms which some may attribute to jet lag, such as nausea, ear aches and swollen feet, may be caused by the mode of travel rather than the time zone change.


Now when Tony Abbott made the claim of jet lag a couple of weeks ago, it caused uproar around the nation. The underlying gibe at Tony was who the hell can use jet lag as an excuse? The real uproar should have come from those that suffer from this quite debilitating condition.

I urge Tony Abbott to read this article and take the actions suggested to reduce his chance of suffering from this malady. The following website provides these useful hints.

Strategies while travelling
There is no evidence that popular strategies, such as fasting or eating complicated diets, have any effect. Suggestions to reduce the impact of jet lag while travelling include:
Make sure you have had enough sleep before you leave. Sleep deficit or ‘debt’ will make jet lag worse.

  • Limit or avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Try to nap whenever you feel sleepy.
  • Eat small meals frequently, choosing lighter foods like fruit and vegetables.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
  • Whenever possible, walk around the cabin.


Of course despite there being no evidence exists that diets have any effect, it never stops an entrepreneur from trying to milk as much money out of you as they can. Maybe by taking your money, it helps you suffer jet lag less. I was totally captivated by this strategy I discovered online by one such entrepreneur. He/she/it even have founded an aptly named website.

An example traveling east: A traveler planning a Sunday flight from New York to Paris faces a nine-hour flight across six time zones. The traveler plans to arrive Monday at 10 a.m. Paris time, and wants to advance his or her body clock so it is not still set for 4 a.m. New York time upon arrival.

To avoid jet lag, the traveler begins the Anti-Jet-Lag Diet on Thursday, three days before the flight. Meals are eaten at their regular New York times. Thursday is a feast day, to be followed by fasting on Friday, feasting on Saturday and fasting on Sunday. The day of the flight is always a fast day.

Feast days: On feast days, you eat three full meals. Take second helpings. Breakfast and lunch should be high in protein. Steak and eggs make a good breakfast, followed later by meat and, perhaps, beans for lunch. Protein helps the body produce chemicals it normally produces when it’s time to wake up and get going. High-protein meals do not need to be exclusively protein, but they should emphasize it.

Supper is high in carbohydrates. They help the body produce chemicals that it normally produces when its time to bring on sleep. Spaghetti or another pasta is good, but no meatballs — they contain too much protein. High-carbohydrate meals need not be exclusively carbohydrate, but they should emphasize it.

Fast days: On fast days, eat three small meals. They should be low in carbohydrates and calories to help deplete the liver’s store of carbohydrates. Acceptable meals on fast days would contain 700 calories or less and might consist of skimpy salads, thin soups and half-slices of bread.

Whether feasting or fasting, the traveler drinks coffee, or any other drink containing caffeine, only between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. This is the one time of day when caffeine seems to have no effect on the body’s rhythms.

Flight day: Sunday evening — flight day — you board the plane about 7 p.m. and begin the first phase of speeding up your body’s internal clock to Paris time. Drink two or three cups of coffee between 9 and 10 p.m., turn off the overhead light and goes to sleep.

Destination breakfast time: About 1:30 a.m. New York time, you take the final steps that reset your body’s clock to Paris time: You begin a third feast day, but this one is based on Paris time. It may be 1:30 a.m. in New York, but in Paris it’s 7:30 a.m. — your normal breakfast time. You wake up — the coffee you drank before going to sleep helps you do this — and eat a high-protein breakfast without coffee; it might be last night’s supper, which you saved for breakfast. Most airlines will gladly agree to this request. The large, high-protein meal helps your body wake up and synchronize itself with the Parisians, who are eating breakfast at about the same time.

Stay active: Having finished breakfast, you stay active to keep your body working on Paris time. The other passengers may be asleep, but you are walking the aisles, talking to the flight attendants or working at your seat.

Monday afternoon in Paris, eat a high-protein lunch. Steak is a good choice. That evening, eat a high-carbohydrate supper — crepes, for example, but with no high-protein meat filling — and go to bed early.

Tuesday morning, you wake up with little or no jet lag.

The return trip, traveling west: On the return trip, the procedure is reversed, with one change. Going from east to west, you want to turn the body clock back six hours so that upon arrival at, say, 10 p.m. New York time, your body clock is not still set at 4 a.m. Paris time.

The same feast-fast-feast-fast procedure is followed as before. For the first four days, your meals and activities are on Paris time. Your fourth day — a fast day — is the day you leave Paris. In the morning, you drink two or three cups of caffeinated coffee. You break the fast with a high-protein “breakfast” at the same time New Yorkers are eating breakfast. At that point, you begin a third feast day, but on a New York time schedule. Do not nap on the plane after you break the fast. Stay active and alert. In New York, go to bed about an hour earlier than usual. Wake up the next morning with little or no jet lag.


Oh they must be experts! The run the official anti jet-lag diet website!  The above is an example only by the way. To get a plan for you, you need to pay $10.95 for a one way trip and $16.95 for a round trip. Such is the cost of using a computer program.

But I digress. I tend to do that a lot. However before I get back on track, I need to provide my normal link to Monty Python. And since we are talking about flights…

Lovely isn’t it? And so apt at hostile press conferences! If only Tony knew how to avoid the danger of the bridge of death.

So finally I am ready to get on with the point of this blog entry. You see, not only is jet lag a terribly destructive, it seems it is also catching! This little gem from Julie Bishop was asked in question time fresh from her trip overseas.

”I refer the Prime Minister to her proposal for a regional processing centre in East Timor. Will the Prime Minister define which countries constitute ‘the region’ under her proposal?”

I was a little stunned myself. I mean question time is usually around 20 questions of which half are asked by the government to itself. So each question is around 10% of an opposition’s arsenal. And for some reason, the Liberal’s second in command was allowed to ask this. Oh dear. Julia saw it as manna from heaven and made hay while the sun shined. Part of her response was freaking hilarious.

‘Thank you very much Mr Speaker and I know the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, like the Minister for Foreign Affairs has flown over a lot of countries in the last few days but Australia’s in the same place it was when she left. So on that basis, of course, that Australia is in the same place it was when she left, we live in the same region.”

Oh Tony. Oh Julie. It seems jet lag is systemic in your party. And it seems you both suffer greatly from diarrhea of the verbal variety. This must be giving your backbenchers the shits.

A. Ghebranious   2010        All Rights Reserved

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