How to get the most out of your summer vacation: Part 2 of 2


By: Raul J. Rodriguez MD, DABPN, DABAM Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Vacation travel often involves airline travel, which in turn may come with some jet lag if multiple time zones have been crossed. Jet lag and other sleep related disturbances can leave you feeling exhausted from one day to the next. Jet lag, which is medically referred to as desynchronosis, is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms as a result of rapid air travel across many time zones. It happens worse when traveling east and when crossing six to nine time zones. It is recommended to avoid light in first three to four hours of the morning at the destination for the first few days. Melatonin at a dose of 1mg or less before sleep may also quicken the acclimatization to the new time zone. Melatonin may also be useful for difficulty sleeping in a new place or on a strange bed. Poor sleep for any reason can leave you tired the next day. Most people know from past experience how fragile their sleep can be when in a new place. Traveling with over the counter sleep remedies such as melatonin and Valerian root, or prescription medications such as Ambien, Sonata, or Lunesta is a worthwhile precaution to make doubly sure that you get adequate rest when traveling.
Rest and physical recovery in the week leading up to the trip is of vital importance. Many people think that vacation is for resting. I will take the liberty in declaring that vacation is for having fun and enjoying your family first, and getting some rest second. During your getaway you do want to physically recover from the daily grind, but you also want to mentally and emotionally recover. This is where having fun comes in to play. Having fun takes energy though; so you want to make sure you have enough of it heading into your trip. Having to sleep for a significant portion of your vacation to catch up with what you did in the week prior at work is somewhat of a waste of precious vacation time. Showing up to the airport with a full tank of gas sets you up to kick off your fun the minute you arrive at your destination. If you really want to top off the energy tank then I strongly recommend getting B12 and B complex injections or an IV vitamin infusion the day before your trip. Combining this with adequate rest and hydration leading into your travel days will set you for peak energy.
Feeling good on vacation will undoubtedly help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest. All of this planning and preparation will also enhance your enjoyment as it significantly adds to the element of positive anticipation for the trip. Anticipation of a positive event can provide a person with as much, if not more total pleasure than the event itself. In essence you actually start to enjoy the vacation 12 or more weeks before the actual trip, as well as during the trip itself. So in more ways than one, you can actually more than double the fun and enjoyment of your vacation.
Dr. Rodriguez is the founder, CEO and Medical Director of the Delray Center For Healing, which offers comprehensive treatment programs for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse. The Delray Center For Healing also offers integrative treatments such as intramuscular and intravenous vitamin infusions to enhance health and vitality.