Most people traveling overseas often experience jet lag and its associated discomfort. Your body’s internal clock may take quite some time to adjust to the change in time zone. People complain about the disruption of sleeping and waking cycle. Some of the common after effects include insomnia at night, sleepiness during the day; hunger at inappropriate times or lack of appetite, confusion, poor concentration, and general malaise and irritability. However, observing certain things beforehand could actually help you to avoid jet lag or at least minimize it considerably.
- Adjusting your internal clock is the most important element. Gradually shift your sleeping and eating times several days before departure, say at least four days. This would make these times coincide with the time at your destination.
- It is always a better option to travel by overnight flights. In this case, you can have dinner at the right time and likely sleep more. As you can replicate your normal schedule, it would be easier for you to reset your clock.
- It would be good to curtail coffee and over eating or else it would reduce your total sleep time as you tend to wake up more often once you do fall asleep.
- Take deliberate effort to stay hydrated. Even when you are not feeling thirsty, drink enough water for every hour while you are in the air.
- Avoid or limit alcohol in-flight. Even when it helps to relax you, it will dry you out and you may face even worse symptoms of jet lag.
- When flying west to east or travelling overnight, try to sleep on the plane. Of course, travel is extremely tiring. So the more rest your body gets, the more prepared you will be to deal with the stress of jet lag.
- Once you reach your destination, spend a lot of time out in the sunlight. This would help your body reset its natural clock to coincide with your new surroundings.
- Don’t simply rush to sleep once you reach your destination unless it is the actual bed time there. Of course, you will be tired but sleeping at the wrong time can affect your sleep cycle. Consider taking a small nap of 20 to 30 minutes and wait till bed time to sleep more.