The Truth About Jet Lag and How To Overcome It
- Published on :07/24/2018
Nowadays, with the busy schedules, accessible flights, and global world, traveling has become a natural part of our lives. While it can be fun and stimulating, it can also come with some less exciting side effects. Among those is jet lag, which occurs with changing time zones, and can mess our bodies up pretty severely.
What Is Jet Lag?
Before you start dealing with it, you might want to know what jet lag really is. Often viewed as an inevitable, yet minor inconvenience, jet lag is actually a sleeping disorder. Therefore, when not dealt with properly, it can come with some serious damage to your brain and life. If you travel a lot and don’t do enough to overcome jet lag, it can haunt you off the plane, too. This then results in restless nights, insomnia, and other illnesses.
Plan In Advance
Once you got your flight booked, start planning accordingly. If it’s an overnight one, make sure you pack essentials for sleeping on board. That includes noise-canceling headphones, sleep mask, favorite pillow, and, of course, comfortable clothing. You might even consider packing a cozy throw in your carry on – the a/c on the plane can get really harsh! Also, do make sure you’re well hydrated before and during the flight. That not only includes drinking plenty of water, but also avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and high-sodium snacks, like crisps and salted peanuts. Once you get off, ensure you have planned some time for rest, too. While you might be very well prepared, you never know what happens on the flight. From turbulence to crying babies – there are plenty of things that are out of your control and can disturb your shut-eye. In such cases, a pre-scheduled nap or an early bed can be your lifesaver. Although if you can avoid midday napping, do it. If you absolutely can’t – limit it to two hours maximum, and don’t do it late in the afternoon to avoid messing with your night sleep.
The best cure for unscheduled sleep is getting plenty of daylight. Even if the sun isn’t shining bright, being in natural sunlight ensures proper production of melatonin. This hormone ensures that your internal clock is ticking accordingly and helps you easily fall asleep at night. Being active in the daylight is also highly helpful. If the weather allows, go for a walk or a run as soon as you arrive, and continue doing so every morning during your stay. If you can’t get outdoor physical activity, do visit a local gym. Afterward, ensure that the light the rooms you’re staying at is as natural as possible.
Build Your Rituals
Having bedtime rituals is highly important for getting a quality shut-eye time. Build those while at home, and continue while traveling. Ariana Huffington – a media mogul and sleep advocate – recommends a hot bath or shower before bed to unwind your brain. It can be anything that helps you to calm down and forget about daily stress, so stay open-minded, but do avoid blue screens at all costs. And don’t hesitate to be slightly over the top when traveling: pack the same candle or scent you have in your bedroom. Putting it in your hotel will help to feel more relaxed and thus sleep better. Our recent blog post on achieving a better night’s sleep will serve you some inspiration for building your own ritual.
Overcoming the Jet Lag
We have tried and tested all those tips and tricks ourselves, so take our word – it helps. Don’t let jet lag ruin your holiday or lower your productivity on business trips. Prepare in advance, stay healthy, and try to stick to your usual routine as much as possible. Your body will be thankful, and your mind will be ready to intake all the wonderful experiences the journeys have to offer.