If you want to work out how you can prevent jet lag, it is imperative you understand how your body works. There are built-in routines our bodies are naturally programmed to do, routines like eating, sleeping. These routines also known as circadian rhythms, are usually thrown into disarray whenever we take on a distant journey involving a change in time zone.Moving around day and night confuses your body’s biorhythm. These confusion results in your body giving in to extreme fatigue, loss of appetite, bowel movements indigestion, memory or short concentration problems. These cases are not the same with everyone, as different people are affected in different ways. The option you have if you will be embarking in these ling distance travels id, take a full day to try and adjust your sleep-wake cycle, blood pressure, digestion and other bodily functions to the new time zone.
Jet lag effects vary, according to our health status, age and ability to handle stress.
Want to overcome jet lag? Here are some tips to help you
TIPS TO HELP YOU OVERCOME JET LAG
- Prepare well at home before travelling
It is important you get yourself well prepared before you travel especially if you know you are prone to experiencing jet lag. You have to try to adapt your body’s rhythm a few days before travelling. This adaptation should be based on what direction you are flying to.
For instancve, if you are going east, you might want to sleep hours earlier than usual; because, flying east makes your body think the day is shorter. And if west, you might want to keep away for at least an hour or two before the day you embark on your journey; because flying west makes your body think your day is getting longer. You should also wake up wither earlier or later depending on where you are going to. To reduce your jet lag issues, you should pay attention when you are booking your flight; try and ensure you arrive in the afternoon or night as you will only be able to stay awake for a few hours, unlike in the morning where you have to deal with Jet lag induced fatigue for hours.
Arriving at night is the best option. It makes it easier for you to stay awake. You will be much inclined to get out and explore if the sun’s shining and you’ve got a full day ahead of you.
- Set your watch to the new time zone
When you get on the plane, set your watch to the time of your destination to get yourself mentally prepared for the new rhythm. Once the time is set, try to keep awake especially if it’s still daytime there. Even if it’s light out at your destination, it may be difficult to stop yourself from falling asleep on the plane since the lights are usually dimmed. This can, however, work to your advantage if it’s nighttime in your destination, so you can sleep on the plane!
Be careful not to change your timezone before you get on the flight, except you want to miss your flight.
- Eat right
If you want to successfully reduce the effect of jet lag, you should seriously consider what you eat. Both in the air and on the ground, for example, carbohydrate-rich food can make you feel very heavy and tired. Rice, potatoes, pasta, as well as burgers during a stopover will increase your need for sleep, and can be really helpful when you’re flying east.
But if you are flying west, you might want to consider lighter, more protein-rich food. This will help you stay awake, fill you up but no leave you heavy. It leaves you with enough energy to stay awake.
Drink a lot of water or juice and avoid alcohol
Air inside airplanes is usually quite dry and you’ll notice your skin stretch and dry up a bit since you’re deprived of water. So every once in a while you should get a glass of water to keep your hydration at a healthy level. Alcohol, however, is pretty strong and toxic when you’re up so high. You might find, for example, that a glass of wine helps you fall asleep – which could be totally true – but the effect it has is only brief. It actually dehydrates you even more and makes it harder for you to adjust to the new time zone later.
- Avoid coffee or any Caffeine laden beverage
As much as you can, avoid coffee or any caffeine-laden beverage. They are artificial stimulants that will affect your ability to sleep, thereby, increasing jet lag recovery time. As stated earlier, if you must, take enough water; that way, you stay hydrated all through the journey.
- Customize your sleep-wake rhythm
It’s especially helpful to adapt your body’s rhythm in relation to the time you’re asleep and awake in the new location. So, for example, if you’re flying east you’ll want to go to sleep on the plane. So get on some cozy clothes, pick up any additional inflatable cushions you’d like and put in some earplugs to avoid being disturbed by the surrounding noise! If you accidentally don’t get very much sleep the night before departing then this can also help you out since you’ll be more tired and able to easily fall asleep on the plan
- Avoid sleeping pills
Sleeping pills should not be an option, that’s if you really want to recover from jet lag on time. They leave you feeling fuzzy and cause your body even more confusion. As averse to sleeping pills, you could choose to, darken your seating area, put on an eye mask or even and use earplugs. This can help your body calm down and unwind on the flight. If you want to sleep,do it the natural way; either listening to a soothing music or listening to an audio book.
- Go out into the Daylight
Daylight makes you feel better. Sunlight restrains the production of melatonin, that’s the hormone in your body that causes a sleep induced fatigue. Unless you’ve been up all night. Which is never, ever a good idea before a long flight.
Sunlight inhibits the production of melatonin, the hormone in your body that makes you feel tired so you can sleep.
Sadly enough, there is no universal hack you can use to overcome jet lag. These tips will only help you reduce the effects, not make it disappear completely.