Otherwise known as circadian rhythm disorder, jet lag is something that frequent travellers always dread, and is the main downside to being able to quickly jet across the world, crossing multiple time zones at unbelievable speeds. While it is not possible to completely beat jet lag, these tips will help you to cope with it much better, allowing you to make the most of your time at your new destination.
Slowly Adapt to the New Time Zone Beforehand
Advance planning is always beneficial when it comes to dealing with jet lag. A few days before you are set to leave, slowly begin adjusting to your new time zone, even if this means waking up, and going to bed, an hour earlier. While this may be annoying at the time, it will really pay off once you reach your new time zone, as your natural body clock will already be mostly adjusted to this.
Sleep and Eat on the Plane
A night flight is always best when it comes to avoiding jet lag, but this means that you really do need to sleep on the plane, even if it is just for a few hours. If you find it difficult to sleep on a plane, invest in a pair of ear plugs, as well as some high-quality headphones, and fill your music device with relaxing tunes and audiobooks. After waking, be sure to have a breakfast, no matter how small, as this will help your body to adapt to the idea that it is now morning.
Avoid Napping at Your New Destination
While it may be extremely tempting to take a short nap in your new time zone, it is really important that you try to stay awake until it actually is time to sleep. Taking a walk will help you to do this, as the fresh air will invigorate your body and remind it that it is still daylight, while the exercise, in general, will help to boost endorphins.
Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine, especially when consumed in the air, will quickly lead to dehydration, and while this may not be a cause of jet lag, it most definitely exacerbates the symptoms. A small glass of red wine with your evening meal may help you to fall asleep faster, but be sure to stop at that one glass, and resist the urge to make the most of the drinks trolley. You should also try to drink as much water as possible during your flight, as a plane ride in itself is extremely dehydrating.
Keep the Length of your Trip in Mind
Since jet lag is unavoidable, it does not make sense to adapt to local time if you are only going to be spending a couple of days in that location. Instead, try to stick to “home time” as much as possible, so that when you soon return home, you will not have to deal with jet lag yet again.
While jet lag can be extremely frustrating, there are a number of steps that you can take to help keep these symptoms largely at bay. From keeping your body well-hydrated to making sure that you sleep for a few hours on the plane, these tips will have you feeling refreshed and back to your normal self in no time at all.