Recommendations on How to Beat Jet Lag
For a frequent traveler or international traveler, everyone must have to deal with jet lag. Whether you have an important business trip or you’re finally taking your dream vacation, don’t let jet lag symptoms – insomnia, fatigue, daytime sleepiness or mild nausea – drain your energy and ruin your time aboard.
Why do we get jet lag?
If we understand how our body works then we can easily prevent or minimize the jet lag symptoms. Our body has an internal clock or built-in routine for a 24 hour period such as eating and sleeping, known as biorhythm circadian. When we travel through multiple time zones at high altitudes in high speed, this biorhythm/ internal clock and external clock get desynchronized or built-in routines are thrown into disarray. Your body clock (biorhythm circadian) is not as easy to adjust as just forwarding your wristwatch to the time of your destination. And such your general health is going to be temporarily affected.
Jet lag can occurs when you travel across multiple time zones. Jet lags kicks in once you have travelled at least two time zones. The more time zones you cross, longer and more intense the jet lag symptoms are likely to be. Jet lag doesn’t just affect different people in different ways. Jet lag effects can vary depending on our age, state of health and stress levels. Jet lags symptoms are worse when you are flying east. You cannot avoid this biorhythmic confusion. Luckily, you can minimize the symptoms and have most productive time by following these tips:
Simulate your Schedule
Knowing how to prepare for a long-haul flight can mean you start your holiday feeling fresh, rather than fatigued. Having a rigid routine of eating and sleeping will make it harder to adjust to new time zones. Relax your schedule during the days before your flight. Gradually shift your mealtimes and bedtimes that matches your destination time. If your flight is bound east, move your bedtime earlier and if bound west, move it to later.
It pays off when you arrive and also makes it easier to sleep on those red-eye flights.
Leave your home well-rested
Flights are long and flying halfway around the world is stressful. If you leave your frazzled or you had a farewell party night before your flight, your body will show the signs in the first part of your trip. Have everything packed and make yourself feel ready 48 hours prior your flight. With your mind and body fully rested, you’ll be comfortable about leaving home and starting this adventure.
Rest and reset in-flight
If you can sleep anywhere easily then you are lucky. And if you can sleep on the plane, even for a few hours, it makes a big difference. If your arrival is daytime, it is better to sleep during your flight. Choose a seat that is not near galleys and lavatories and seats that reclines giving you a bit of stretch.
If your flight time is longer than 8 hours, you can take in some medication but after consultation.
And some medicine will make you feel drowsy once you have landed. For flights shorter than 7 hours, it is best to avoid taking in medicine.
This will influence in early hours of your destination. You can use eye masks, ear plugs to avoid distractions and disturbances for your sleep. You can also wear comfortable clothing and follow your daily routine bedtime to ease in your sleep.
Don’t prolong jet lag by reminding yourself what time it is back home. Adjust your body and mind along with your wristwatch to the time zone of your destination once it has been announced. A warning: don’t get clever and do this beforehand, unless you want to end up with the world’s most ridiculous excuse for missing your flight. So set your watch to the new time as soon as you get on the plane, but don’t lose track of what time your biological clock is keeping.
Don’t shift time for short trips i.e. less than 48 hours
When taking a red-eye to Europe, having breakfast immediately after waking up on the plane or once you get into the airport – even if not hungry – will definitely help adjust your body to the idea of your local time zone.
Get some exercise
Move around regularly and do light exercises to keep the blood circulation. This doesn’t combat jet lag per se, but it does reduce some of the scars of travel.
Keep your body hydrated before, during and after your flight. Drink water as much as you can but maintain it that it doesn’t affect you during flight. Dry and pressurized cabins can quickly dehydrate you, making you feel extremely sleepy. Drinking water throughout the trip doesn’t stop jet lag but it helps make sure dehydration doesn’t compound your fatigue. Avoid alcoholic drinks and high caffeinated beverages
Instead of helping you sleep, it may make you feel more awake. Alcohol can also cause dehydration and increase tiredness, making it even harder to beat the inevitable jet lag. Your body functions best when it’s hydrated, so drinking lots of water is a great way to offset the effects of jet lag.
Avoid overeating before and during your flight. Eat meals in small portions. A more extreme tip is to start eating three meals a day in line with the new time zone, even if that means cornflakes at 11pm.
Stay awake until local bedtime
Do not try to doze off as soon as you land. If you doze off at 4 p.m. and wake up at midnight, you’ve accomplished nothing. Try to keep yourself awake at least till earliest local bedtime. This way your body will adjust or is forced to acclimatize with the local time. Your body may beg for sleep, but stand firm: Plan a good walk breathing in fresh air until early evening while standing firm to fight off drowsiness.
Best way to fight off jet lag is to leave your home with fully relaxed body and mind, get your body and mind acclimatize for transition into local time. This way you can enjoy your trip the moment you step off the plane.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below