Review of The Cure for Jet Lag
The Cure for Jet Lag
By Lynne Waller Scanlon and Charles F. Ehret, Ph.D.
Back2Press Books, Rev. Ed.
Lynne Waller Scanlon, co-author of the best-selling and recently revised The Cure for Jet Lag, declares that her book is the only one on overcoming circadian dyschronism, or jet lag, that offers “scientifically proven information” about how destination and direction affect cure. She might well have added that the book is, arguably, the only one out there that presents a three-step program to reduce, if not prevent, jet-lag that also addresses subtle and crucial differences in applying the cure, and does so with clarifying simplicity, strategic repetition and well-placed anecdotes and humor.
The Cure for Jet Travel is a book to be used – before traveling, during a trip that requires schedule modification, and for a couple of days afterward. As Scanlon says, jet lag, “too rapid [long-distance] travel east/west or west/east from one time zone to another,” is the number-one air traveler’s complaint, causing “tremendous fatigue and mental confusion” that often result in loss of valuable time and of a sense of well being.
Although the book’s cover advertises its research cred – the cure is based on “The Amazing 3-Step Program Developed at Argonne National Laboratory and Used by Fortune 500 Executives and the U.S. Army Rapid Deployment Forces” – The Cure for Jet Lag is designed mainly for the general traveler, a category that includes all ages and professions (among them athletes, diplomats, concert performers, gamblers!). An unexpected perk is recognizing that a lot of the caloric lore here can serve even if you travel only from your living room to the kitchen. Learning how different foods and beverages can force body rhythms ahead or back could prove especially helpful to the elderly many of whose sleep/wake systems are already dysynchronous.
The Cure for Jet Lag goes back 25 years to studies undertaken for the Department of Energy by Dr. Charles F. Ehret (d. 2007), a pioneer in the then new field of chronobiology (how time affects living organisms). Like so many inquiries in the history of science and medicine, Ehret’s investigation grew out of military interests – in this case, training, readiness and deployment. Of course, a lot has changed since the original publication of Ehret’s work, called Overcoming Jet Lag. Enter Scanlon, an independent press publisher, best-selling author and literary blogger, who saw a more comprehensive theme and a larger audience. She rewrote Ehret’s book, making it broader, less technical and graphically attractive.
The title change, from “Overcoming Jet Lag” to “The Cure for Jet Lag,” reflects Scanlon’s reinforced confidence in the three-step program borne of years of application and confirming testimony. The new edition provides more examples of the program’s comprehensive strategy and more detailed explanation of how the program should be used, depending on whether travel is from east to west or west to east as a continuous event (or not), and on how many time zones are crossed (flying north-south or south-north does not produce jet lag). The new reformatted edition also includes more information on caffeinated drinks (managing coffee and tea intake is critical to the three-step plan).
Slim, neatly designed and conveniently interleaved with itinerary worksheets, the book may nonetheless seem a bit intimidating at first, requiring as it does close attention to pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight caloric intake in regard to the number of time zones. But look at the gain: on flights with up to 3-4 time zone changes, the 3-Step System promises zero jet lag, and on flights of up to 12 time zone changes, symptoms last 3 days but are dramatically reduced in severity.
And what if there are layovers, complex routings, delays, no matter how ideally you planned your flight? Re-customize the worksheets (if you’re going west to east, you’ll have to factor in more preparation and do it earlier than you would for travel east to west). And what if you just come across the book as you’re about to take off? Start the three-step program where you are.
Given the increased presence of credit-bearing travel programs in college curricula, The Cure for Jet Lag could not be more timely. Its interdisciplinary subject matter, alone, would recommend it to academics seeking to link the physical sciences, the social and behavior sciences and the humanities.
As for the plethora of so-called pharmaceutical aids to prevent jet lag (as opposed to motion sickness), there are none, though Viagra seems to have a small effect on hamsters going east! #
For more information, visit www.thecureforjetlag.com.