With crowded airports, long lines, baggage issues, restrictions and weight limits, small seats, crying children it is no surprise if you feel bad when you reach your destination because of jet lag. It is actually technically called desynchronosis and it happens when the body tries to adjust to a sudden change in time zones. You are changing the times you experience sunrises and sunsets and this changes the times when your body feels tired or is ready to wake up. The body’s natural clock, the circadian sleep rhythms, are when you get sleepy and when you wake up naturally and these are effected causing the jet lag. Here are some tips to help you not have to experience jet lag:
1. Try to fly at night if you can. That way you can sleep all the way there and be at your destination in the early morning. Use some good headphones that cancel out noise and take a nice neck pillow to use. If you aren’t able to travel at night you may want to gradually adjust your sleep schedule a week before you plan to leave.
2. Be sure you are eating right and getting the nutrients your body needs. This way it will adjust better to sleep rhythm changes that it would if your body is depleted. Be sure you drink enough water because traveling dehydrates the body. If you get headaches or feel irritable these are signs of dehydration when can be serious. On a long trip you want to get up and move around and do some stretching which will help keep your circulation moving. This will help to relieve achy muscle and keep you from getting headaches.
3. Limit your intake of caffeine and try not to change the amount of coffee you drink per day. Caffeine can cause dehydration so you don’t want to over do it. You might drink a small cup and then get up and walk up and down the isle. Don’t drink any alcohol because it can make it easier for you to ignore your sleep rhythms. It’s best if you wait until you get to where you are going and then have your night cap.
4. Your first day should not be full and you will want to take it easy giving yourself some time to adjust. If you are feeling pretty tired when you arrive you may want to get outside and soak up some sun. Then get up at your regular time the next day.