25 Sep Jet Lag
Tips on overcoming Jet Lag
With the excitement of going on a vacation, we tend to forget about time zones and what we will feel after a long flight. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for jet lag, but there are science-backed methods that can help you and your body adjust faster.
What is Jet Lag?
The actual definition of jet lag is lethargic tiredness and the physical effect it has on a person’s body who travels across different time zones, changing one’s body clock and sleep patterns. The altitude changes, crossing time zones, and cabin pressure can wreak havoc on the body. Our internal body clock (circadian rhythms) signals our body when to stay awake and when to sleep, but it does get confused in different time zones.
Symptoms of Jet Lag
The main symptoms of jet lag are, wanting to sleep during the day and staying awake at night. Also, some minor symptoms include tiredness, exhaustion, impaired concentration, indigestion, fatigue, insomnia and irritability. Jet lag is a circadian rhythm that is out of sync with its new environment.
Tips to prevent Jet Lag
To beat jet lag, the key is understanding what it is and what is going on with your body. Follow some helpful tips below:
Adjust your sleeping ahead of time
One way to quickly manipulate your body clock and ease into the time zone is to control the exposure to light and darkness a couple of days earlier. Set your watch to the local time of your destination, schedule your meal times and try adjusting your sleep time and wake time by thirty to sixty minutes each day, starting a few days before you leave.
Sleep on the plane
Sleep on the plane to help make your body adapt to local time, although it might get tricky if it comes to mid-day in your local time zone. Wear comfortable clothes, curl up with a blanket or pillow, and remove your shoes to get a good sleep. To help block out surroundings, wear an eye mask and noise cancellation earphones. Shop here.
Drink plenty of water and other drinks that will make your body hydrated. Do not consume sodas and other caffeine drinks that can keep you awake and further dehydrate your body. Try to limit your alcohol consumption during travelling and eat a balanced diet that is not too heavy.
‘No-Jet-Lag’ medications or Melatonin supplements are a great option to treat jet lag. These natural options help reduce the stress and fatigue your body experiences while travelling.
Read a book
If you like to read, have a compelling book on hand while travelling to help you relax. Boosting your spirits high enhances your quality of sleep.
Stay away from toxins
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and even sleeping pills while travelling. Remember, keeping your body hydrated is the best method to beat jet lag.
Exercise is both good for your health, helps keep your circadian rhythm aligned, and enables manipulation of the timing of your body clocks.
Once you reach your new destination, move around and stay active as it helps readjust to your new time zone. Spend some time outside to explore the new surroundings, as exposure to the outdoors helps your body recalibrate.
Overcoming jet lag varies for each individual but generally takes a couple of days. If you follow the new time zone as soon as possible, the likely effect of jet lag will reduce. Ease yourself in your first day or two to adjust and recover your body clock. With additional travel stress on your body and mind, try not to explore as soon as you arrive, but stay active to help readjust. Try any of the tips mentioned to give yourself a chance to get over jet lag as quickly as possible.
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