Jet LagIf your journey takes you to a destination several time zones away, you will probably experience jet lag as the body internal circadian clock is only able to reset itself at a rate of about 1 hour per day. In most people, the circadian cycle tends to be slightly longer than 24 hours. Hence, most people have fewer problems with westward travel (lengthening day) than eastward travel (shortening day). Jet lag can be worsened by insufficient sleep before the journey.
If you are on a very short trip (48 hours or less), you may find it more convenient to remain on home time, rather than trying to adjust to local time.
The most common manifestations of jet lag are fatigue, headaches, insomnia and appetite problems. There is no cure for jet lag, but its effects can be minimized by avoiding caffeinated drinks for 4 hours and alcohol for 2 hours before going to bed to avoid interrupted sleep.
For westward travel, late evening exposure to bright light helps delay the onset of sleepiness. For eastward travel, early morning exposure to light helps promote sleepiness in the late evening.
Travel Health InformationYou can find more information on travel heath, immunizations as well as safe eating and drinking at the following websites:
Hong Kong Travellers' Health Service
World Health Organisation
Center For Disease Control
Inflight ExerciseProlonged sitting in a fixed position can make you feel uncomfortable in the plane. Following are some easy exercise* that you may wish to follow every couple of hours to loosen your muscles.
1. Start the exercise by sitting comfortably in your seat in an upright position.
2. Rest both feet on the floor. Flex both feet with toes pointing upward, then point your toes downward.
3. Bend your upper body slightly forward and clasp your hands around one knee. Raise you knee gently towards the chest for a few seconds and then release, placing your feet back on the floor. Continue with the other leg. Repeat 5 times for each leg.
4. Place your hands under one thigh, and gently lift toward your chest. Rotate your ankle in a circular motion for 5 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. Perform this exercise 5 times with both legs.
* We suggest you stop doing these exercise immediately should you feel pain or discomfort.
Illustrations by Bernard Chau. Extract from Discovery, Cathay Pacific's inflight magazine.