Our Good Life participates in affiliate marketing and other forms of advertising. We only recommend products and services we believe in and think they will be of use to you.

Top 7 Tips for Preventing Jet Lag

 For those who frequently travel, jet lag is just one of those things that must be endured. In a nutshell, jet lag is when your body’s natural rhythm does not align with the time zone of your destination. You typically experience jet lag if you travel quickly across time zones, which disrupts your body’s circadian rhythm. Symptoms of jet lag include daytime drowsiness, insomnia, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, lack of appetite, gastrointestinal issues, and mood swings. While jet lag can affect anyone, older people tend to recover from it more slowly.

There are various factors that cause your body to experience jet lag, one of which is the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to. Sunlight helps regulate your body’s production of melatonin—the hormone that keeps your sleep cycle in check. Cabin pressure can also play a role in jet lag: because of air pressure fluctuations, there may be less oxygen reaching your brain. This causes lethargy, which may exacerbate symptoms of jet lag.

Normally, it would take only a few days for your body to get back to its usual sleep-wake cycle. Still, there are ways to get through jet lag and reset your body clock so you can get a more restful sleep. That said, here are some jet lag prevention and management tips to help you sleep well wherever you are on the map.

Align Your Sleep Schedule Before the Trip

Tinkering with your body clock ahead of your trip helps you gradually adjust to a different time zone. However, you don’t have to sleep during the day and stay awake at night to keep your Manila-time body clock totally in sync with New York. If possible, slowly adjust your bedtime a few days before the big trip to get your body used to a new sleep-wake cycle.

As some studies suggest, traveling east is more likely to cause jet lag compared to traveling west. This is because westward travel only prolongs your day-night cycle, while traveling east requires your body clock to run the opposite way. To adjust your sleep schedule ahead of the trip, consider going to bed an hour earlier at night if you’re traveling east. If you’re westward-bound, go to bed an hour later.

Consider Supplements and Sleep Aids

Although melatonin is naturally produced by your body, you can get the hormone as a supplement to induce sleep at appropriate times. If your body feels restless, you can take melatonin before going to bed at night. You can also take it early in the morning to prolong your sleep if you traveled west.

Several studies suggest that taking melatonin at the right hours helps realign your circadian rhythm. In addition to melatonin, some sleep aids and prescription drugs may help you regain a healthy sleep cycle after traveling. Of course, it would be a wise idea to consult your doctor first to make sure that sleep-inducing medicines and supplements won’t adversely affect your body. Discussing these matters with your doctor will help you determine the right sleep aids, as well as buy medicine online Philippines medical communities suggest for managing jet lag.

Make Sleeping Comfortable

Sleeping while in transit allows you to keep your circadian rhythm aligned with other time zones, but a disruptive environment can keep you from getting adequate rest. With this, you need to make sure that your surroundings deliver optimal comfort to induce sleep. To start, consider bringing items such as eye masks, sunglasses, ear plugs, noise-canceling headphones, and your favorite travel-sized pillows and blankets. Upon arrival, you can tweak the thermostat settings in your room to ensure a comfortable temperature while you sleep.

Time Your Light Exposure

As mentioned previously, light can greatly affect your circadian rhythm. As such, it’s best to regulate your exposure to all forms of light during and after your journey. In addition to sunlight, you need to be mindful of your body’s absorption of artificial light. When trying to realign your sleep schedule, avoid artificial light from sources such as electronic devices that keep you alert and awake.

That said, managing your exposure to sunlight also depends on the direction and distance of your travel. Generally, traveling across more than eight time zones may necessitate avoiding light upon arrival to help you acclimate to another time zone. If you’re traveling east, consider getting plenty of sunlight to advance your internal clock. On the other hand, it’s best to get light exposure at night when traveling west to help you adjust to a later time zone.

Remind Yourself of Your New Schedule

Upon arriving at your destination, make sure to reset the time on your watch, phone, and alarm clock to keep yourself aligned with your new time zone. To make adjustments quicker, it would be ideal to keep yourself awake and avoid sleeping until it’s nighttime where you are. It might also help to schedule your meals with the local breakfast, lunch, and dinner times to prevent appetite concerns.

Stay Hydrated, But Avoid Alcohol and Excessive Caffeine

As a general rule, you should keep yourself hydrated before, after, and throughout your flight. This is because drinking water helps counteract the dryness of cabin air, which causes dehydration and worsens jet lag. It’s also ideal to avoid drinking alcohol and too much caffeine, which also causes dehydration along with other undesirable effects such as heightened alertness and reduced sleep quality.

Allocate Time for Rest Upon Arrival

It may be tempting to make the most of your trip by doing all that you can in the first couple of days, but you also need to get a sufficient amount of sleep. Jet lag can drag on for days, so it’s best to pay attention to your body and help it adjust to a new sleep schedule.

When all is said and done, jet lag can still be managed despite being a likely occurrence. Most people consider jet lag to be a mere nuisance—a normal side effect of frequent travel. While it’s true that jet lag usually goes away once you’ve gained your footing in your new environment, you can still apply some strategies to speed up the adjustment time. In the end, what matters is you’re taking good care of your body by allowing it to stay well during a much-awaited trip.

Would you like to comment?

Welcome! If you liked what you read, please take a moment to share by tweeting, pinning or yumming! Much appreciated!