Jet-Lag Remedies

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.

Jet-Lag Symptoms

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.
  • Headaches.
  • 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.

Jet-Lag Pills

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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