Perhaps Dalí had jet lag in mind when he painted his famous melting clocks. Indeed, when we cross too many time zones too fast, our internal clock runs askew, making us like a distressed object in a surrealist painting. With our circadian rhythms rusty, we suffer fatigue, insomnia, grogginess, memory loss, dehydration, and other unpleasant, life-impairing symptoms. So, what's a traveler to do? - B.H.
A Swiss product available at natural-food stores such as Whole Foods Market, this elixir of aromatic extracts (peppermint, eucalyptus, juniper, clove, and more) clears the head, induces sleep when rubbed on the temples, unravels sore muscles, and clears the sinuses. Best of all, just a few whiffs of this miracle mix relieves anxiety, one of jet lag's most debilitating symptoms. www.olbas.com
Developed by a famed British ayurvedic practitioner, Dr. Singha's Travel Tonic targets the upset stomach and anxiety we suffer when we journey to lands far away. Loaded with herbs such as ginger, Siberian ginseng, lemon rind, sheep sorrel, and yohimbe bark, this magic potion works wonders when taken before, during, or after long flights. www.dr.singha.com
These packets of powdered vitamin C, electrolytes, and minerals can be carried on the plane and mixed with water in flight. Aficionados claim that taking one before, during, and following the flight promotes energy and pep and bolsters the immune system to combat the ill effects of speeding through time zones. Available at most natural-food stores, Emergen-C comes in a variety of flavors. www.alacer.com
The Anti-Jet-Lag Diet
Frequent travelers swear by this diet, created by scientists at the University of Chicago’s Argonne National Laboratory. Essentially a pretravel regimen, it suggests a four-day feasting-and-fasting program that ends upon arrival. Feast days mean lots of protein early in the day and a carbohydrate load in the evening, while fasting calls for three small, low-calorie meals. This coordinated eating plan speeds adaptation to new time zones by resetting our inner clocks and adjusting our biological cues. www.antijetlagdiet.com
Many hotels and spas now offer de-stressing jet-lag treatments to whip mind- and body-warped travelers back into shape. The VH Spa at Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho (480-248-2000, www.hotelvalleyho.com) offers quantum biofeedback and acupuncture sessions that rebalance and reenergize, while the spa at the Watermark Hotel & Spa in San Antonio (210-396-5800, www.watermarkhotel.com) serves up mineral-loaded power drinks with names like Virtual Buddha. Yoga videos are de rigueur on televisions at all Hyatt hotels (www.hyatt.com) in the United States, and many hotels, such as the Fairmont Dubai (011-971-4-332-5555, www.fairmont.com/dubai), renew weary guests with pressure-point-oriented massages — our personal favorite is their Time Zone Rejuvenator.