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Travelers' Aid

This Week: Jet Lag
April 8, 2000

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One of the most recurring problems for frequent travelers is jet lag. For this week's Traveler's Aid segment, I wanted to take a look at the problem and some solutions.

Of course, most everyone knows the age old advice: once you have a trip planned, start adjusting to your new time zone before you leave, going to bed earlier or later. Drink lots of water, and avoid alcohol and coffee while traveling. Some newer theories stress the importance of sunlight. Staying out in the sun helps you adjust to your new time zone naturally. And if you need to take a nap, keep it short. Under an hour.

That's all good advice. All those things help. But is there anyway to really beat jet lag? I want to know. So I turned to a man who travels a lot. His name is Bob Einhorn, and he's the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Non-Proliferation, which means he criss-crosses the globe making sure the world's most dangerous weapons aren't getting spread around. It's important for Bob to stay sharp. If anyone knows how to vanquish jet lag, it's him. Well, the first things I wanted to know about Bob, was where, exactly, his job takes him.

Wow, sounds like Bob could use some help. I wanted to get some sage medical advice about some of the things he was talking about: melatonin, sleeping pills. So I called Terri Rock. She's a travel doctor in Santa Monica, California, and a frequent traveler herself. The first thing I asked her about was melatonin. I mean, is it really all it's cracked up to be?


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