Seniors and Jet Lag: Recipe For Exhaustion

By: Jody Smith

I'm sure you're tired of being reminded that seniors get tired more easily, and need to rest more often than our younger counterparts. But when it comes to jet lag, there's really no way around being reminded just one more time. Yeah, seniors get tired more easily. If you add jet lag to the mix, you can get really zonked, and being realistic about the need to rest can make your whole holiday more enjoyable. And it can keep it from being miserable, for you and anyone with the misfortune to be traveling with you.

Jet lag can hit you like a wall of exhaustion, especially if you have traveled one or more time zone to the east. Your body clock is not interested in what the new place's clocks say. It is stubbornly set on its own sleeping and waking schedule, no matter whether the sun is up or not in your new time zone.

Jet lag can be accompanied by the undesirable symptoms of tiredness, insomnia and mental fuzziness and disorientation. Your hands and feet may swell. Your head may ache. Your digestive system may rebel.

Flying east means that you lose time. Flying west will gain time for you. This is easier for your body to contend with than traveling east would be. It takes awhile for the human body to come to terms with this change, in either of these situations.

Jet lag is most definitely something you'd like to minimize. You may be able to do something in this regard even before you take off on your trip. You might start going to sleep earlier at night, so your body can avoid some of the jolt. If you change the time on your watch to your new time at the start of your trip, it will help you make the mental adjustment to the modification to come.

Drinking lots of water before, during and after your journey may help jet lag. According to an article on About.com, dehydration is believed to increase jet lag. So increase your water intake and decrease your intake of alcohol and caffeine as both of these make dehydration worse.

When you get where you're going, put your feet up and take a break. Fight the impulse to get out there at high speed, and have yourself a rest for a day or so. This gentler introduction will increase your chance of having an enjoyable holiday, with your wits about you and your body working for you rather than against you.

Jody Smith is a freelance writer forEmpowHER.com.

Sources:

How to Avoid Jet Lag

http://seniorliving.about.com/od/travelsmart/a/jetlagavoid.htm

Travel Bugs

http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/channel_health_features_details.asp?health_feature_id=168&article_id=530&channel_id=10&relation_id=10867

Related Links:

Tips for Discussing Long-Term Elder Care

http://www.empowher.com/wellness/content/tips-discussing-long-term-elder-care

Senior Living Arrangements: Independent Living Retirement Communities

http://www.empowher.com/relationships-amp-family/content/senior-living-arrangements-independent-living-retirement-communitie

Re-entering the Workforce After Retirement

http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/re-entering-workforce-after-retirement

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