Jet-lag remedies may be required to combat the feeling of disorientation that can occur when travelling quickly and landing in a country several time zones away from home.
It is usually worse when flying in a easterly direction.
Most hunters haven't got the time to spend slowly adjusting their 'body clocks' - they need to hit the African ground running, so here are a few tips on dealing with the effects of jet-lag .
Hunters from Europe are usually unaffected as they are travelling south but hunters from the US and the rest of the world might struggle with jet-lag.
These may include all the things you don't need on an African hunt....
- Disturbed sleep - waking at odd hours when sleeping and fatigue when awake.
- Irritability and bad moods.
- Inability to focus.
Simple Jet-Lag Remedies
- Trying to adjust to the new time zone before departure, by sleeping and waking later/earlier.
- Also try to adjust your eating patterns before departure according to the time zone difference.
- When you arrive avoid taking naps when you feel tired - get out hunting in the fresh air and sun. Try to stick to the new hours.
- If you usually suffer quite badly, arriving a couple of days early before the hunt starts, may be a good idea.
- Sleeping as much as possible on your international flight is said to help. If you find this difficult, there are some over-the-counter remedies that may help.
- Minimising your alcohol and caffeine intake also helps combat jet-lag.
Other jet-lag remedies include taking Melatonin pills...
- Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that seems to regulate sleep.
- Synthetic Melatonin supplement pills can be purchased at health food stores. 'Natural' melatonin supplements are made from the pineal gland of animals and are not recommended.
- Short term studies seem to point to Melatonin being useful as a jet-lag remedy but there have been no studies on long term effects or interactions with other medications. Melatonin products are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
- If you haven't taken it before, it might be an idea ask your doctor about it and to try it out before travelling, in case you have an adverse reaction.
Long-Haul Flight Survival Measures
Flying these days, has become a mentally, emotionally and physically draining activity for most people. Flying longhaul is just prolonged misery especially if you are in steerage, so try the following measures to increase in-flight comfort.
- Pre-booking the best seat you can get. Discounting the cabins up front, this would be an aisle seat and better still, a bulkhead aisle seat. However, bulkhead seats which have more leg room, seem to be mysteriously blocked off when you come to pre-book a seat, no matter how early you make your reservation.
- Using your own headphones rather than airline issue - avoids squashed, sore ears and will give better sound quality.
- Pre-hydrating before boarding because chances are the drinks service won't start until about an hour into the flight.
- Bringing a variety of things to keep yourself amused if you don't plan on sleeping much or watching the movie.
- Bringing your own small snacks.
- Going for walks around the cabin when you get the chance.
- Start writing your hunt journal/report.
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