How to beat Jet Lag like a Boss!
If you have flown through multiple time zones, or will be embarking on such a journey, you may want to know how to beat jet lag.
This syndrome or disease or body confusion makes even the toughest of us sit up at night staring at the empty ceiling.
When it is time to sleep, you start rummaging around for food, and when it is time to go for dinner, your eyelids simply cannot open at all.
We have had quite a number of practice on this, having to fly through numerous times zones each time we head to Europe.
So if you want to know some proven methods to beat the jet lag monster, read on to find out the best ways to beat jet lag!
What is Jet Lag?
Before diving into the methods to beat jet lag, it is important to know what the hell jet lag is about.
Some of us may not be aware, but jet lag, or more accurately jet lag disorder, is a sleep disorder.
The medical term for jet lag disorder is desynchronosis.
Though it is temporal, it does wreak havoc on our mental and physical well being, causing us to be tired and fatigued.
In some cases, there could be something more serious such as gastrointestinal problems.
Symptoms should not be taken lightly, as it affects your ability to drive and perform normal tasks.
While we don’t think it is possible to entirely avoid jet lag, there are ways to make it more bearable and go away quicker.
What the symptoms of Jet Lag Disorder?
There could be a number of symptoms to look out for, and here are the most common ones:
- Fatigue during the day
- Unable to sleep at your usual timings
- Waking up very early
- Feeling excessive sleepiness
- Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, bloatedness and diarrhea
- Difficulty focusing
- Loss of appetite
Any time you return home from a long trip, make sure to look out for these symptoms and check out the prevention methods below!
Is Jet Lag Disorder more severe when travelling from West to East?
Unfortunately, the more time zones you cross, the more severe jet lag will be, especially if you travel from West to East.
There is lesser time for our bodies to recover since flying eastwards reduces the number of hours we have.
In fact, travelling from North to South or the other way round also creates significant troubles, since the seasons could differ greatly.
How to prevent Jet Lag?
While it is impossible to get rid of Jet Lag totally, there are ways to prevent or lessen its impact.
It does take some effort, right from your pre flight to after you return home.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Before and during your flight, you should avoid alcohol and caffeine products as much as possible.
Yes, we know it’s kind of tough but if you decide to consume them, you should know that these products will cause dehydration.
Increased intake will also lead to more frequent visits to the toilet, which will impact the quality of your rest time on board a flight.
Coffee can keep you awake for hours, and that’s not what you want on a long flight.
Drink plenty of water
While you’re flying, the air in the cabin is very dry.
This leads to a dehydrating effect too, and affects the body negatively.
Always bring along a water bottle which you can fill up and keep it close to you. Take regular sips and keep yourself hydrated well.
Sometimes the cabin crew might take a while to get to you, so having your own bottle will be much better.
A hydrating spray will be very useful too.
Avoid bright lights exposure
In today’s day and age, it is almost impossible to block out all the white lights and blue lights emitted by electronic devices. They are everywhere!
But for your own benefit, it would be wise to avoid the temptation to watch that last episode of your favourite show, or finish the last chapter of the book you downloaded to your kindle.
A physical book might be the better choice here.
The light from these devices causes your body to be unable or less able to produce melatonin, which is a natural hormone to help you sleep.
Bring your sunglasses along to block out unnecessary lights, and if you have to use your devices, set them to night mode.
Set your watch time
This is one of the simplest yet often overlooked methods to help beat Jet Lag, at least on the mental aspect.
Setting your watch to the destination time helps greatly, for it lets you get into the mindset that you are in the same time zone already before you even arrive.
Try to take your meals according to the destination timings, rather than where you are leaving from.
Choose your flight timings wisely
If the options allow, always choose a flight where you do not land at your destination too late at night.
Whenever possible, aim to land by the afternoon or evening so that you can get to bed early and quickly develop a ‘local’ routine.
If you are arriving in the morning, try to avoid sleeping or taking a nap as it will disrupt your sleep cycle.
Sleep on the plane
This is probably a no brainer, to rest while you are in the plane.
As advised earlier, try to match it with the destination timing so that you can get used to it quicker.
Bring along a comfortable neck pillow, eye mask and noise cancelling headphones to cut out the distractions.
A melatonin pill might be useful if you are very concerned about your ability to sleep on the plane. Remember to check with your doctor first.
While you are not taking naps, you should try to keep your body active.
Do stretches while you are seated, and get up to practice your catwalk down the aisle whenever possible.
As a bonus, sometimes you might actually get to meet some cool people hanging around the galley too!
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These are proven prevention methods, so make sure to give them a try the next time you find yourself in this situation.
It does take some planning and discipline, but it is all worth the effort and not having to be wide awake in the wee hours of the morning.
While there are no foolproof methods to beat jet lag, we are sure these suggestions will greatly help you out.
Safe travels ahead!
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