In today’s article, we will give you useful tips on how to deal with jet lag and overcome its most serious side effects in a quick and natural way.
How to deal with jet lag?
If you often travel long distances, the jet lag phenomenon would be a very familiar problem for you. Unfortunately, the symptoms of sudden changes in the time zone can seriously damage any vacation or business meeting abroad.
The unpleasant effects of jet lag can affect us not only physically but also emotionally. Fatigue, insomnia, headaches, loss of coordination, and drowsiness are some of the most common manifestations of modern traveler’s syndrome. In some cases, its effects can be very serious and include dehydration, severe depression, and even memory impairment.
What is jet lag?
Long journeys through several time zones (east or west) lead to disturbances in the rhythm of our internal biological clocks. They control our needs for sleep, food, and affect our moods. Disrupting them, in turn, creates the unpleasant sensations that we associate with jet lag.
As we get off the plane, we are exposed to daylight in a time zone that is different from the one we left just a few hours ago. We eat at different times, go to bed at different times, and our internal clock is still aligned with the time zone we are used to.
The combination of all these differences burdens our body, and our internal clock begins to confuse, trying to catch up.
How fast can we overcome the symptoms of jet lag?
Fatigue and drowsiness are the most common symptoms of jet lag. The more time zones we go through, the more intense their symptoms become. You may experience insomnia, dizziness, disorientation, indigestion, dehydration and in some cases even depression.
In most cases, it takes a full day to make up the difference in a one-time zone. For every extra hour, you add or remove from your watch, you would need another day.
For example, if you fly from Sofia to New York, you would change 7 time zones. To make up for this time difference, you would need 7 days.
We must pay attention to the fact that the jet lag is easier to bear when we travel west. Then we add hours to our day and the body has time to adjust to the shift of the time zone.
Traveling east, in turn, “takes out” the hours of our day, giving the body less time to adjust. Also, the body’s natural instinct would be to wake up at night, because according to the biological clock, it will be morning.
How to reduce the effects of jet lag: advice from experts
1. Adjust your sleep mode before the flight
If you are about to fly west, start going to bed and getting up later than usual. This way, your internal clock will have the opportunity to start adapting even before you leave.
In case you are flying east, try to go to bed and wake up earlier than usual so that you can get used to the new time zone faster.
We recommend that you do not make major changes to your regime if you do not have to go through more than 3 time zones, especially if you stay at the final destination will be short. There is a danger that you will adjust to your trip, but you would experience jet lag when you get home.
2. Get a good night’s sleep before the trip
Studies show that people who sleep well the night before their trip to different time zones cope with jet lag faster. Quality sleep before the flight gives the body more time to adapt.
3. Choose the right place on the plane
The debate over whether the seats by the window are better than those by the corridor has not been interrupted since the first passenger flights so far. From the point of view of jet lag, there is a sure winner.
If you want to lessen the effects of jet lag when you arrive at your destination, try to choose a place by the window. This would allow you more support for your pillow when you sleep. If you are sitting by the window, you will not need to wake up when someone in your row decides to walk around the cabin.Try to book a seat in the front of the plane, Where vibrations during turbulence are significantly lower, which will allow you to sleep better. Sleep, especially if it’s on time at your final destination, is a better idea than a movie or video game.
4. Avoid coffee, alcohol and sleeping pills
Consumption of coffee and alcohol before or during the flight is not recommended. These drinks can further disrupt the sleep cycle and aggravate the symptoms of jet lag.
5. Avoid sleeping during the day
When you arrive at your final destination and start experiencing the symptoms of jet lag, try to avoid going to bed before the evening. Even a short afternoon nap at the hotel can slow down your adjustment to the new time zone.
Sunlight is one of the factors that allows us to quickly adapt to a different time zone. Her stimulation reminds her body that it’s still day and it’s not time to rest.
6. Drink water often
One of the causes of jet lag is the loss of electrolytes and dehydration. This type of dehydration begins in the aircraft, where the pressure is much lower than at sea level, which accelerates the processes leading to dehydration. We recommend that when traveling, bring a bottle of water to drink a little, but often.
7. Limit food on the plane
To minimize the adverse effects of jet lag, spare your body by limiting yourself to the food offered on the plane. Although tempting, airplane food is also full of harmful carbohydrates and vegetable fats. All of them can complicate the body’s adaptation to new conditions and different time zones. If your flight arrives during the day, these foods would cause a feeling of exhaustion.
Therefore, we recommend that you avoid fatty foods and drink more water during your trip. Chronobiologists and jet lag experts recommend strong coffee and fruit breakfast in the morning after the flight. A protein-rich lunch will help you maintain your energy throughout the day.
8. Choose flights with a later arrival time
Book your plane tickets at a later time of arrival at your final destination. This would help you fall asleep much faster and rest better after a tiring trip. If you do not sleep during the flight, the combination of fatigue and the length of the day in the new time zone will help you fall asleep on time. This way you will be able to wake up in the morning according to local time and take advantage of the whole day in the new place and also you can adjust your hotel room, apartment that you have rented, etc.
9. Divide your trip into stages
Jet lag would be much tolerable if you have the opportunity to get relax at an intermediate destination, afterward you can continue your journey. If you have the opportunity, insert a day between your flights in which to start your adaptation to the change of time.
10. Move your watch
Before departure, set your watch to the time of your final destination. This will help your thought process adjust to the new time zone when you arrive.
We recommend that you do not set it up before you leave. While it can help you adapt even earlier, there is a risk of missing your flight if you don’t remember moving your watch.
11. Are you traveling with a baby?
If you are traveling with a baby, start changing your child’s bedtime one week before the flight. It is good for the baby’s sleeping habits to be maximally adapted to the time zone to which you will travel.
12. Do exercises
The benefits of physical activity and exercise are more than we can fit in this article. What is important in this case is that the exercises and training during the jet lag help to deal with it tremendously, especially in the event of severe fatigue, drowsiness, and depression.
So when you feel the effects of jet lag, go to the gym, go for a run in the park, do breathing exercises (or a few sets of repetitions with your heavy suitcase). These exercises will work much better for you than caffeinated gum, energy drinks, or sleeping pills. Even moving around the cockpit during the flight can be very beneficial for your later adjustment.
We hope that with this guide we have been able to share all our experience of what we need to know when traveling by plane. Good luck!
Author – Julien Chbib
Bio- Julien is the founder of Julius Homes. His interest in hiking, skiing, and adventure holidays made him bring together the choicest accommodations around the globe to make holidays relaxing and comfortable.