When I was a child, my mother was always begging me to “Go play outside!” She needed the break (I guess)! My bike and I had a territory of 3-5 square miles that was ours to play in. That territory included soccer fields, a swimming pool, playground equipment, friend’s houses, etc, and I could play there for hours on end before having to come home at dark. The whole concept of “playing outside” is a foreign one today, I guess. There are too many child abductions taking place for parents to ignore and for the most part, kids don’t play outside anymore unless their parents are out with them. Even then, play is usually confined to the front or back yard. Comedian Chris Rock likes to say, “It won’t be long before kids will have a three foot circle they can hop around in for awhile before they’re told to run back inside!”
I don’t want to hop around in a three foot circle. As a 45 year old, I would still rather play outside and as a traveler, that’s a good thing. Have you ever had a sustained three or four day headache after a trip across three or four time zones? Have you had a hard time adjusting to a new time zone? Increased blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, headaches, irritability, and listlessness are all symptoms of time zone adjustment problems.
There are many different home-spun remedies for jetlag (time zone adjustment). Some say to take Melatonin tablets to help regulate sleep patterns better. Others prepare by altering their sleep habits before they leave on a trip. Still others just wake up early or go to bed at a different time while trying to cling to their home time zone.
I’m a firm believer in the powers and affects that the sun has on us when it comes to the regulation of bio rhythmic patterns like sleeping, eating, etc. Maybe it’s the vitamin D, maybe it’s just a mental thing about being outside in the sun, but there is scientific evidence that indicates that people who spend more time outside in the sun acclimate to new, and re-acclimate to old time zones faster.
This is easily accomplished if you’re taking a vacation to Miami or some other sunny destination, but what do you do when you’re scheduled for indoor meetings and work all day in a new location? Here are some suggestions:
- Take your lunch at an outdoor caf?, roll up your sleeves, and get a table that lets you sit in the sun.
- Take a long walk after lunch, or find a table or lounge chair outside at your hotel and read a book out there for an hour or two.
- People in cities with long winters take advantage of sun lamps or tanning booths. Some artificial sun is better than nothing.
- On cold days, you can still sit and read, or position your laptop near a window in your room and work in the rays of the sun for awhile.
- When all else fails, vitamin D and D3 tablets are always available. Perhaps these, taken in conjunction with Melatonin will do the trick. Both are available at your local nutrition store or pharmacy, over the counter.
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please call 1-877-49-EXPERT. Your questions will be recorded and sent to him. Many of Ken’s blogs come from your questions and observations, so don’t hesitate to ask!