That time of the year has come - vacationing! Other than planning where you will sleep and what you will do, there is another very important aspect - your location. Depending on your destination, you may experience jet lag. Other than a few tricks, which we will discuss below to help reduce jet lag, one can also take a supplement for this. Go check out Reviewy as they specialize in reviewing products and dietary supplements that can help sustain a healthy lifestyle.
What Is Jet Lag?
Jet lag is a temporary physiological condition that is caused by a change in the body’s circadian rhythms. Now, circadian rhythm is basically your body’s internal clock which works on a 24-hour schedule. This internal clock signals when you should be asleep and when you should be awake, which is a result of melatonin production. This sleep-promoting hormone is usually higher at night making one sleepy, and lower during the day making one more alert.
One becomes jet lagged when traveling at a fast speed over multiple time zones - thus during air travel. For example, if you fly from New York to France (west to east) or from London to Washington DC (east to west). It is said that flying east is more difficult to adjust to as one loses time.
Symptoms of jet lag can start by even traveling over 2 to 3 time zones (2 to 3 hours difference). These symptoms like sleepiness may become worse the more time zones you cross. As a result, your internal clock is thrown off schedule and your body gets confused about the time melatonin should be secreted. It could take about a day per time zone crossed to recover.
This condition may cause you to not enjoy your vacation - well not the first few days at least. It may also worsen due to lack of sleep before the flight, an uncomfortable sitting position, stress, air pressure, dehydration, alcohol, and caffeine.
Symptoms Of Jet Lag
- Most of these symptoms are related to sleep. The following include:- Poor quality of sleep
- Tiredness during the day
- Becoming exhausted during the day
- Lack of concentration
- Memory problems
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Difficulty waking up in the morning
Ways To Reduce Jet Lag
The effects of jet lag cannot be totally eliminated, however, there are ways to reduce the symptoms thereof and make it easier for you to handle. Below are three main steps to focus on which are broken down into smaller suggestions around each.
Before traveling - After you have chosen your destination, start to adjust your routine at home. For example, if you are traveling east, make your dinner and bedtime a few hours earlier than usual. Adjust these times 30 minutes every evening. In the mornings, get up 30 minutes earlier each morning. If you are traveling west, do the opposite. Another point to consider is contacting the hotel or place you will be staying at. Ensure that you can book-in once you arrive to either sleep or drop your bags off and start the day’s adventures.
During the flight - Once on the plane, adjust your watch to your destinations time. This will start to prepare your mind mentally for the change. Drink plenty of water as the difference in air pressure may make you feel dehydrated. Also, try to prevent drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks. If you will arrive at your destination in the morning, it is best to try to get some sleep on the plane. If you will arrive at your destination at night, try to keep active on the plane by walking and stretching regularly.
At your destination - Once reaching your destination, it is best to follow the course of the day or night. If it is daytime, make sure you are outside being active and in the natural light. This will help prevent the body from secreting melatonin. If it is nighttime, it is best to go to the place you are staying, take a warm relaxing bath, and getting into bed. Also, set your alarm clock for the morning to avoid oversleeping. When it comes to mealtimes, try to force yourself to eat at the times based on where you are. Lastly, as mentioned above, stay hydrated.