With the holidays around the corner, many will be traveling to different time zones, which means the possibility of experiencing jet lag.
Also known as circadian dysrhythmia by scientists, jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder where your body’s internal clock doesn’t align with the time cues in your destination, MSN reported.
But everyone wants to get the most out of their trip. We don’t want to fall asleep at lunchtime because it’s nighttime back home. According to neurologist W. Chris Winter, jet lag doesn’t have to mess up your trip. “If you plan for it, you can do most of your acclimatizing to your destination a few days in advance.”
According to SleepFoundation.org, jet lag can last a few days to a few weeks and tends to be worse when traveling east and when a greater number of time zones are crossed. Here are a few tips that may be useful to beat jet lag.
Fall in sync with your destination timezone. Try to eat and sleep according to the time of your destination. Try to adapt to the changes the best you can. It helps if you get a jumpstart on changing your schedule before the trip.
Drink water. A lot of it. Staying hydrated is important, and it helps fight fatigue, Healthline reported. It’s not uncommon to become dehydrated when flying.
Light exposure, especially natural light, has the biggest influence on circadian rhythm because it is a critical signal to the brain that regulates our internal clock.
Getting some natural light after arriving at your destination can quicken the process of adapting to your new time zone, but, you may not want to immediately rush outside. Depending on the distance you’ve traveled and the time you land, it may be better to avoid light when you first get there and then have extended light exposure earlier the next day.
If needed, take melatonin. When our natural rhythm is thrown off, so is the natural production of melatonin in our body. Studies suggest that taking melatonin supplements at the right time may help realign your internal clock.