Every traveler has experienced some degree of jet lag. Whether it’s a mild case of insomnia or a 48 hour haze of coma-like sleep, jet lag can be a drain on you and your vacation time.
Jet lag happens when your body’s internal clock doesn’t match the timezone you’re in. You’re body is either telling itself to stay awake when its time to sleep or it’s saying “Sleep!” when you need to be awake. Either way, its a real drain on your system and the quicker you can get past it the better.
Here are a few tips on keeping jet lag at bay.
- Put yourself in your destination’s timezone before you get on the plane.
The day before you leave, try to acclimate yourself to your destination’s timezone then try to stay on that clock as you travel to your destination.
- Get comfortable
Make yourself comfortable so you can relax and avoid stress or fatigue.
- Avoid screen time if you want to sleep
Light from electronic screens actually physically affect you. Aside from the visual stimulation of what you are watching, the light from the screen delays your ability to sleep. The less you watch, the easier it will be for you to close your eyes when the time comes.
- Say “No” to drugs
Alcohol dehydrates, caffeine dehydrates and keeps you awake, sleep aids have side effects that can be amplified by altitude. They can also last too long and be counter productive
- Work through environmental insomnia
Get yourself into the comfort zone. Bring a pillow, ear plugs, head phones, comfortable clothes, a blanket—whatever it takes.
- Shoot for an early evening landing
Landing in the evening lets you have dinner and get to bed at a decent hour. This will get you on local time and rested up for a great vacation
- Stay up to get yourself on track
If you can’t get a evening landing time, try to stay up until your regular bedtime. This helps your body acclimate to the current timezone and on the right track
- Use the Sun to keep your internal clock going
The sun has a powerful effect on your body and can help you muscle through the rest of the day. Stay active and outdoors in the sun. You’ll be okay until it’s time to hit the sack. If you have to sleep,
take a nap—nothing more than 2 hours. A nap can get you get you past the hump and well on you way to being jet lag free.