How to get over Jet lag?
A big trip, whether for business, pleasure, or an athletic competition, is usually a matter of excitement. Unfortunately, issues can develop during the journey procedure. Jet lag is common when travelling by plane for long periods of time.
Jet lag is most usually linked with foreign flights, but it can occur on any flight that crosses three or more time zones east or west. Jet lag usually disrupts sleep, causing your internal clock to become out of sync with the day-night cycle at your destination.
Knowing how to avoid and recover from jet lag will help you maintain your sleep routine and overall health when travelling, allowing you to get the most out of your vacation.
What is jet lag?
Jet lag describes common sleep problems (such as insomnia) and other symptoms people experience after travelling a long distance quickly. When you travel across more than two time zones by plane, your body’s “internal clock” (or circadian rhythm) needs time to adjust to the new sleep and wake cycles at your destination. Jet lag is a type of circadian rhythm sleep disorder.
Some symptoms of jet lag include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
- Lack of appetite
- gastrointestinal conditions like constipation and diarrhoea
Here are some tips to get over Jet lag.
Light, especially natural light, has the biggest influence on circadian rhythm. Light from the sun, even on a cloudy day, is a critical signal interpreted by the brain to regulate our internal clock.
Exposure to natural light at your destination speeds up the process of acclimating to the new time zone; however, you may not want to immediately rush outside. Depending on how far you’ve travelled and the time you land, it may be better to avoid light when you first arrive and then have extended light exposure earlier the next day.
Artificial light, including electronic devices, also affects circadian rhythm. For this reason, try to avoid artificial light during planned periods of darkness and sleep.
When natural light exposure isn’t an option, a high-powered lamp used for light therapy, also called a lightbox, can provide higher illuminance with a greater circadian effect.
Melatonin is a hormone that the body produces naturally. Melatonin production begins in the hours leading up to your customary bedtime. Melatonin has two main functions: it aids sleep initiation and it regulates your circadian cycle.
The timing of melatonin production can be thrown off when your circadian rhythm is interrupted by jet lag. Taking melatonin supplements at the proper time has been shown in several trials to help synchronise your internal clock.
Melatonin is accessible without a prescription as an over-the-counter nutritional supplement. Melatonin levels are also boosted by some pharmaceutical medicines.
Melatonin is generally safe to consume, although it can induce grogginess or gastrointestinal problems in some people, and it may interact with other medications. As with any medicine, consult with your doctor before taking it.
Simulate your new schedule before you leave.
If you’re travelling east, start moving your bedtime earlier. Shift it a half-hour earlier each night for several nights before you leave.
If you’re travelling west, do the opposite. You can also try moving your mealtimes closer to the time you’ll be taking them at your destination.
Focus on getting quality sleep: Sleeping on the plane, if you can, may help your body adjust faster to a new time zone. You may want to ask your provider about the benefits and risks of over-the-counter sleep aids, such as melatonin. Prescription-strength sleeping pills may have more downsides than benefits when it comes to treating jet lag. Talk with your provider about your needs.
Avoid new foods: Choosing foods your body knows how to digest (for a day or two) may help ease any digestive symptoms of jet lag.
Drink lots of water: Drinking plenty of water can combat the effects of dehydration after a long flight. Choose bottled water if you have any questions about water safety. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can make you more dehydrated.
Beverages with caffeine such as coffee, espresso and soft drinks may help offset daytime sleepiness. Choose caffeinated drinks wisely. Avoid caffeinated beverages after midday since caffeine consumed after that time may make it even more difficult to fall asleep or sleep well.
Avoid unnecessary stress: Being anxious can impede quality sleep and exacerbate symptoms of jet lag.
Bring helpful accessories: A sleep mask, earplugs, and comfortable clothes for sleep are examples of items that can decrease disruptions when sleeping in a new place.
Exercise has beneficial effects on the mind and body, so make time to be physically active at your destination. While research is inconclusive, properly timed exercise may also help align your circadian rhythm.
Stretch on the plane
It’s important to stand up and move a few times to prevent muscle stiffness and reduce the risk of blood clots.
Jet lag can make giving that crucial business presentation a difficult task. It has the potential to detract from the enjoyment of what is supposed to be the most memorable journey of your life. You may feel like the greatest version of yourself regardless of the time or time zone if you have the correct preventative measures and remedies at your disposal.
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