If you are a frequent international flier then you already are all too familiar with jet lag, and if you are flying international for the first time then you might be fearing jet lag. It is advisable to learn something so that you can combat jet lag. Eliminating jet lag completely isn’t possible but reducing its effects is something you should learn how.
Jet lag can occur anytime when you are traveling international because you will quickly be changing two or more time zones by flying over different countries. If you have a long flight that crosses many countries then the chances of you getting jet lag increases. You will suffer disturbed sleep patterns, daytime fatigue, stomach pains, and difficulty in concentrating and functioning because your body will be tired and you will be feeling sleepy and sluggish.
As you get older, jet lags start hitting you harder and it takes longer for you to recover from them. It becomes more difficult for your internal clock to synchronize with the external clock of the new place. When you have been traveling enough times, you pick up a trick or two to reduce its effects and here are some tips that we have picked to help you and us deal with jet lag.
1. Simulate Your New Schedule Before Your Departure
You can start following the time zone of the place you will be visiting. You can move your bedtime closer or farther depending on where you will be traveling. Try coordinating your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to the time zone of the place you will be visiting. This gives you a headstart to the changes that your body will be going through but because you are in a familiar environment your body can easily adapt to the new routine and this will make sure that you don’t get a severe case of jet lag when you actually take the trip because your body will already be in tune with the new clock.
2. Arrive Early
If you can afford to visit a place earlier than when you need to be there especially if the trip is for a business event where you need to be on your best, then I would definitely recommend flying a few days early so that you can get some time to fight off the jet lag before your event. Flying early gives your body and mind to adjust to the new time without throwing you off your game.
3. Eat Proper Meals
There’s no proper diet to prevent jet lag per se but many people advise having meals for a few days prior to the flying day and fasting on the day you are supposed to fly. It is said that it helps your body adjust to the changes, though not proven, many fliers swear by it. You can eat anything that helps you get a good night’s sleep so that you have some help in that area.
4. Hydrate Yourself
Drinking water before, during, and after flight is advised to maintain the hydration level of your body. Flying causes dehydration to many which is why you need to drink water. Also, avoid alcohol and caffeine because they will keep you awake and also cause dehydration. They should definitely avoided a few hours before you are planning to sleep so that your sleep isn’t disrupted because of the intake of caffeine and alcohol.
5. Take a Hot Bath Before You Plan to Sleep
A hot bath helps ease sore muscles and helps you relax and wind down. A good long bath will also make you sleepy so taking a bath before you plan on going to bed is a good idea.
If you are a frequent flier and none of these methods have helped you then you can take help from your doctor, they will prescribe medication to help you get some sleep. There are also sleep specialists who can help you. Also, try to minimize distractions when you go to sleep. Wear an eye mask and/or earplugs to sleep distraction free on your flight. Turn off all the lights when in your room, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and also do not use screens before going to bed because they make it difficult to fall asleep. Try meditation to relax your mind and body.