With many more travel restrictions easing and countries beginning to open up after the Pandemic, people are beginning to travel abroad again. It’s an exciting time for holiday makers who want to travel the world after months of restrictions, but long haul travel comes with a cost to our sleeping pattern due to jet lag.
Jet lag happens when you alter your natural circadian rhythm because of travel to a new time zone. Your circadian rhythm is your internal clock that your body uses to manage sleep and wake times. It can affect you more if you’re a frequent traveller and if you’re older. It’s also worse as you travel from west to east — it may last longer than if you travel westbound.
Traveling disrupts the measures your body uses to manage its internal clock, such as daylight, your temperature, and your hormones, so some symptoms of jet lag can include:
- difficulty concentrating
- mood swings
- lack of appetite
- gastrointestinal conditions
Thankfully today, many aircrafts are designed to help passengers with jet lag such as a Dreamliner. Relaxing lighting is installed to help passengers adjust their internal clocks to reduce tiredness from jet lag upon arrival. Dreamliner’s also fly 2000 feet lower than most aircrafts, which also helps people to overcome jet lag quicker.
Read on for tips to reduce jet lag:
Drink plenty of water
Good hydration may help you to manage jet lag symptoms and travel fatigue, as long-distance travel can cause you to become dehydrated. Buy a water bottle once you’re through the checks in the airport, keep yourself topped up throughout the flight and continue to drink once you arrive at your destination.
Manage your sleep time
Make sure you sleep when it’s most appropriate to your new schedule. Your flight may be in the air during your destination’s nighttime, so try to log some sleep while airborne. You should also avoid the urge to nap when you arrive during the daytime. A few things that will help you to rest include:
- Noise-canceling headphones
- White noise
- Eye masks
- Comfortable travel pillows and blankets
Use light to adapt
Jet lag is when our internal body clock is thrown off track, since it is managed by natural daylight and temperature. To get yourself back on track quicker, use light to your advantage. Expose yourself to as much daylight as possible during the time you’re meant to be awake. During the times you’re due to sleep, make sure the room is dark and you aren’t exposed to any harsh lights.
Adapt to your new time zone as quickly as possible
Adapting to your new time schedule is crucial to help you overcome jet lag quickly. As difficult as it can be, postponing your sleep to your new destination time can help you to get back on track.
Speak to your doctor about medication
If your flight is extremely long haul and it’s going to affect your days due to work commitments, consider speaking to a doctor about medication that can help you adjust to new time zones.