At one point jumping on a plane was a relatively easy thing to do but the flight experience today is often more of a chore than a pleasure, compounded by concerns about terrorism, the long lines of security controls, and other irritants such as checking a long list of things you can and you can take with you.
As the tension that precedes the output are physical health problems, ranging from aching limbs, swollen ankles, and sleep disruption, which has been popularly described as “economy class syndrome” (the possibility of deep vein thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis) and, of course, to deal with jet lag.
However, despite these drawbacks, many of us are boarding planes than ever. World air transport has grown at around 5% annually over the past 30 years. In 2006, the world over 2.000 23,000 aircraft carriers flew more than 2 million passengers in nearly 28 million flights.
Perhaps our increasing preference for air transport is explained, Although there are numerous health issues associated with air transport pale in comparison to the enormous benefits for travelers, trade, international affairs, and public health . “
So given that there are some things we can not change air travel, which are things we can do something about it to protect our health and ensure our comfort during the flight?
This article offers some suggestions gleaned from various sources, including official advice of medical experts and travel, as well as the experiences of frequent travelers’ personal, on how to minimize the effects of jet lag, increase your comfort and possibilities to get a good sleep on board, and exercise tips and reduce the risk of DVT.
Jet lag is the result of traveling through areas several times, causing symptoms such as fatigue and sleep disturbances. Our biological clock is in sync with the day-night cycle to the start of our trip, so when we travel to a different time zone quickly, as we do during the flight, our body continues to function as if we were in the time zone that we left back. It can take anything between 2 days and 2 weeks to fit completely to the new time zone, depending on how far you’ve traveled.
It is also possible that the different rhythms of the body to adapt to a different beat. For instance, digestion can adapt more quickly than sleep.Here are some tips to minimize the effects of jet lag:
Synchronize the clock with the time zone of your destination before leaving.
If you fly to the west (eg, from Paris to Vancouver in Bangkok to London): stay awake as long as you can when you get there. It is easier to endure one more day is to reduce your body’s natural rhythm. Also, if you can, try going to sleep and wake up later for a few days before traveling.
If you are flying to the east (for example, Mexico City to Frankfurt, Johannesburg to Sydney): try to sleep on the plane, while it is the moment of the night at your destination. When you arrive, try not to sleep during the day, or will take longer for your body clock to switch to the new time zone. You can also prepare for the setting up and go to bed early for a few days before traveling.
When you arrive at your destination, enter the local routine as soon as possible.
At your destination, try to stay outside during the day as much as you can (while still being sensitive about sun exposure and the risk of sunburn), and natural light helps your biological clock adapt.
If you have traveled west, exit and stay home tomorrow afternoon to the early days: if you have traveled to the east, to avoid light in the morning and try to get more light outdoors in the afternoon.
If you go on a short trip, for example, if you are a member of the crew or a business person goes to a meeting, then no point in trying to adapt to the local time zone, it is likely that the best advice for keeping to your local time zone.
If your business meeting is very important, get a full day or half early will give you more time to adapt and be fully alert. On the other hand, try to schedule to coincide with the day in your local timezone.
Some research has found that taking melatonin before bedtime in the new time zone is effective for 50% of individuals, but clinical studies have not yet been done to prove it is safe and effective and at what dose. According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK, regulatory specialists, aviation, crews are not allowed to use it. Melatonin is a hormone that is stimulated by darkness and suppressed when there is light.
Some people swear by sleeping pills, but BUPA health care provider says you should first talk to your doctor before using them on flights and jet lag. He or she may advise you to take them only for a couple of days while your body clock adjusts. But you should not take the flight because you will be encouraged to sit for a long time increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (more on that later). Also, do not drink alcohol while taking sleeping pills, as this can make even more sleep and therefore less mobile.
Comfort and Sleep
Many people have difficulty sleeping on a plane, and it is not surprising when you consider all the distractions, noises, cries of children, the transmission of light through the window (daylight is too bright to 35,000 feet), and to top it off, you do not have enough legroom, feels cold, the shoes are too tight, not easy to sleep in an upright position!
Well, despite these disadvantages against you, these tips can ease comfortably enough for you to take a couple of hours of good sleep on your next long haul flight:
Choose your seat wisely. This advice comes from the editor of independenttraveler.com, who suggests that you choose a window seat so you can rely on it (which also gives you control over the umbrella!) And stay out of the way of people climbing up on you or and down the hall and in the fall or leaning against you as they are decreasing.
Also, think twice before you book exit row seats and close, sometimes the advantage of legroom is offset by not producing the armrests and the seats do not recline (so they do not cause a obstruction in an emergency). This could also be a section of aircraft noise as these seats are often reserved for families with young children.
Take only a small bag as hand luggage, so you do not have to touch one under his feet and restrict your legroom. Keep all things that will need during the flight at the top of the bag, and put a few in the seat pocket in front, but not too many, or the flight attendant may be asked to remove them if they step out and potentially hinder the evacuation of passengers.
Bring a neck pillow, eye mask to block light, and warm socks (which can be cold up near the feet for a long haul flight).
Some people are very comfortable neck pillows, try some. Some of those annoying fly has a seam that sticks to the skin when the head flops over! Those velvet, already blowing up looks better, but taste it first.
Wear loose, comfortable clothes and go for layers you can peel off easily when hot or put back if you are cold, for example, a long sleeved shirt and a loose body warmer might be more practical than a bridge.
Wear comfortable shoes that you can put soft and easily removed, the feet swell during the flight.
If no one for her seat, said the flight attendant and get your claim in early: early to ensure you get your pillow and a blanket on board!
If you are someone who can not sleep after taking caffeine, then stay out for a couple of hours before and during flight. Remember that some soft drinks and tea also has caffeine.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
A DVT is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs. Life is endangered by a piece of the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, where it can cause a pulmonary embolism (blockage of a main artery in the lung).
There has been much controversy about flying, especially long-distance travel increases the risk of DVT. The jury is still out on this, to some extent, but several studies conducted as part of Phase I Research World Health Organization Global Threat of travel (WRIGHT project) suggest that the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE , the DVT is an example) may double after 4 hours of flight. The main cause seems to be prolonged immobility, so also is the same risk as if you sit for long periods on a long trip by car, train or bus, or even at home or office.
The longer the period of prolonged immobility sitting, the greater the risk, and there is a tendency for longer flights to carry an increased risk of deep venous thrombosis short flights for this reason. The risk also increases with multiple flights within a short period.
The risk increases significantly in the presence of other known risk factors for deep vein thrombosis, which are: being over 40 years, have had a DVT or a blood clot in the lung before, have a history blood clots in the family, the hormonal effects of pregnancy or being in hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptive use. Recent surgery or trauma, and also many types of cancer may also increase the risk of DVT.
Wright’s project found that the absolute risk of VTE per flight of more than four hours, in a cohort of healthy individuals, was 1 in 6,000.
There is some evidence that compression stockings can reduce the risk of DVT in passengers on long haul flights. These are commonly used in the hospital, where patients share some characteristics similar to long distance passengers: can become dehydrated, breathing the air of low humidity, and tend to be immobile for long periods.
The CAA also recommends drinking “an adequate amount of soft drinks” on long flights to reduce the risk of DVT. There have been discussions about the pros and cons of using aspirin as a way to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis, but the CAA advises against “the balance between benefit and harm is not in favor of aspirin and therefore their routine use is not recommended, “they say in the FAQ section of its website about DVT.
So how to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis during the flight? Well, the same way to reduce risk on the ground: avoiding immobility, stand and walk from time to time, and keeping physically active. This can be a challenge in a plane full of people, but is not as difficult as you might think.
Exercise not only reduces the risk of DVT, also has other benefits such as reducing aches and pains, to relieve stress and boredom, and the induction of a better quality of sleep. Many airlines now show the exercises and stretches in your vehicle information. Click here to see one of the most comprehensive, TAP, the Portuguese airline.
Matthew Eaves, film director, globetrotter and author of a book of tips on how to survive a long haul flight, says “drink a bottle of water every hour, leaving your seat every hour and up and down the plane.”
Exercises you can do to relieve leg pain and reduce the risk of clotting are rotating your ankles, alternately pushing down with your heels and toes, standing calf raises (go to a corner near the bathroom or the kitchen to make these), alternately tensing and relaxing parts of the legs (working up from the feet to the thighs and hips, then down again).
The back is a part of the body often aches after a couple of hours of flight. A good back stretch is to bring your chest down to cover your thighs when sitting. Lengthen the spine and hold for 5 seconds, then slowly sit upright. Repeat two or three times, and they do it every hour or so.
Here’s a tip of bodybuilders for the arms. Keep out directly in front of you, hands down relaxed. Then all the tension of the arms and make hard fistballs hands. Hold for a few seconds, suddenly opens the fingers, until hands are stretched and dried starfish, then closed again, hard. Repeat several times.
Here’s one for the shoulders: Sit up straight, shake hands behind head with elbows to the sides. Gently pull your elbows back while bringing the shoulders down and together. This is probably not one to do in your seat, which could push its neighbors in the eye.
And finally, one for the neck once again come together behind your head and pull the head on his chest, while keeping the spine straight up. Continue pulling gently until you feel the stretch in the back of the neck into the shoulders. Hold for a few seconds and repeat.
Fear of flying
There are millions of people who have anxiety and panic attacks to fly. Fear of flying phobia is the third most common after fear of snakes and spiders. Sometimes it arises from a bad flying experience, or an emotional reaction to news of the kidnapping or a plane crash. It can also be caused by claustrophobia, concerns about the height, loss of control, and fear of the unknown.
If you are afraid to fly, then maybe consider going to a course. Some airlines actually run courses that combine behavioral techniques and education about the aircraft such as the different noises they make and what triggers turbulence, one of the things that can cause distress. Some courses also end with a flight under carefully controlled conditions. The CAA says that research has shown that these courses are effective and that the benefit can be sustained.
Fear of flying Help is a free online course for airline currently flying Captain Stacey Chance, which offers educational materials and practical tips. For example in Chapter 4, Dr. Arnold Bennett, MIT, gives a plausible argument to persuade that air travel is safer than many other ways to travel. It also examines how the news media can cause aircraft accidents seem to be more frequent than they really are, and gives advice on how to overcome fear of flying, such as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and get enough sleep to increase resilience and reduce vulnerability to stress.
Another commonly given advice in the courses is, once on board, instead of living in fear and let the anxious thoughts dominate, try to distract yourself chatting with other passengers, the flight watching movies, eating, read or listen to your portable music player.
A tip I found useful for anxiety in stressful situations is the breath of relaxation. We tend to forget about breathing, which happens automatically, but it is a powerful relaxation tool that we carry with us wherever we go. If you feel yourself getting anxious, notice your breathing, it is interesting to see how anxiety and rapid, shallow breathing often go hand in hand. You can become more relaxed, focusing attention on your breath, and just nudging the anxious thoughts aside. Feel your lower chest cavity swells as you inhale gently with the bottom of your lungs. So sorry to go as you exhale. Do not treat your time in and out of breath, just breathe gently, slowly, deeply, naturally.
You might also consider cabin crew saying that you’re afraid of flying – many are trained to deal with this and can reassure the strange sounds and other unexpected things that can cause anxiety.