Kicking Jet Lag
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YOU CAN BET that drug-company executives aren’t among the 70 million Americans suffering from sleep problems. Thanks to blockbusters like $2-billion-a-year Ambien, the sleep-aid industry is booming, and several similar drugs are angling for space in your medicine cabinet, including Lunesta, launched in 2004, and others awaiting FDA approval. These meds, which work better than older drugs, with fewer side effects, aren’t just curing the restless; they rival the toothbrush for popularity among long-distance travelers. But no matter how well you sleep en route, making it to breakfast several time zones away can be a struggle. We asked a few veteran road warriors for their tips on how to re-sync your body clock.
Ben Harper / World-Touring Musician »
“Take flights that get to your destination in the late afternoon. You get in, get clean and organized, go out for a brisk walk, get some food, and off to bed. Jet lag conquered.”
Jimmy Chin / Expedition Photographer »
“A couple of days before you leave, start paying attention to the exact time change you’ll be facing. I have a watch with dual time, so that helps. I usually stay up all night packing and then crash on the plane.”
Steve Kerr / NBA Analyst »
“Work out as soon as you get to town. If you break a sweat and get a good stretch, and then a hot shower, you’ll feel much better.”
Ivan Watson / NPR Foreign Correspondent »
“Exercise and coffee. I play soccer in Istanbul and Jerusalem and run in places like Islamabad and Beirut. And I travel with several bags of ground beans.”