Many of us get out of the flight so ‘jaded’ after traveling for a long time. We look at our watches to see it’s just 2:00pm at home though the vacation destination time is 4:00am. Next the question comes…do I sleep or stay awake? Welcome to Jet lag! Jet lag is a psychological condition medically referred to as desynchronosis. It’s a common belief that jet lag is caused by the time it takes to reach a destination. However, it is not. It’s caused by traveling between time zones in a short time frame usually by a jet plane. For example, it takes five hours to travel from Los Angeles to New York, and a person can still go through symptoms of jet lag when they cross Central and Mountain Time Zones.
Simple Tips To Overcome Jet Lag
1. Maintain Regular Sleep Patterns
Before you travel, keep your sleeping patterns as regular as possible. If you don’t have a consistent sleeping pattern, go to bed and wake up at set times few days or a week before your trip. By doing this your body’s internal clock will be in-sync.
2. Avoid Coffee And Alcohol
Having healthy food plays a great deal of you getting a good night’s sleep. So have fruits, vegetables and a balance of grains. Avoid alcohol and coffee as much as possible, if it cannot be eliminated completely.
3. Regular Exercise
Regular exercises improves the consistency and quality of your normal sleeping cycle. A form of aerobic exercise every day for about 15 to 20 minutes will go a long way in preparing you for your journey. This will not only help your journey but let you sleep well at nights. So why not make it a regular habit even on regular days you are at home?
4. Slowly Adjust The Bedtime
Start to ‘manage’ your body clock gradually by adjusting bedtime and wake-up time few days before the trip. This will bring in line the time at your local destination. For example, if your bed time is 10:00pm, and if your destination is four hours ahead, the bed time at your destination will be 2:00am. In such a case, you can bring your bed time forward a bit (say 15 minutes) each night for about a week before you depart. I know this means that your bed time might end up being 7:30pm but the good news is when you arrive at your destination, you will be going to sleep at 11:30pm, not bad eh?
5. Reduce Stress
As much as we look forward to our vacation destination, many of us stress out about making sure everything goes smoothly. At times we may not realize that we are stressing though we are. This can lead to jet lag. So to help be less stressed before your trip, arrange everything much early without waiting for the last minute, sleep properly, have a good and healthy diet, and drink lots of fluids. Last but not least, loosen your mind and think of the paradise you are about to enjoy.
I hope you will practice these tips before your next long flight, and I hope it will help you overcome jet lag. What advice do you have to cope with jet lag?