Travelling is fun and exciting. I love seeing new sights and learning about different cultures. But when you travel across several time zones, your body finds it difficult to immediately adjust. This leaves you feeling sleepy, experiencing loss of appetite or even feeling sick. This feeling is known as jet lag.
Just the way you reset your watch to reflect the new time zones, your body also resets itself but not as easily as you reset your watch. Jet lag can be an extremely disturbing feeling. The good news is that there are ways you can minimize the effects of jet lag. It’s all a matter of being prepared and making the right choices.
1. Make sure you’re fully rested before you travel
The first step to fighting jet lag is to have a good night’s sleep a day or two before you’re set to travel. The effects of jet lag are less for those who are well-rested before they travel. This is because adequate rest will help the body easily adjust to a change in time zone or withstand the effect it has on the body.
However, if you travel stressed out and sleep deprived then the jet lag will put undue strain on your whole system.
2. Take the opportunity to nap on the plane
Jet lag first acts on your sleeping habits and make you feel tired. If it’s a really long flight, then make use of the opportunity to take a nap on the plane if you can. This will help your body reset better.
3. Set your time and your mind to the one in the country you’re going to
This tip actually deals with the psychological effects of jet lag. When you’re travelling to a country with a different time zone, it’s only natural for us to think about what we would have been doing at that particular time in the country we’re travelling from and start comparing time zones.
This makes you less conscious about the time of the country you’re travelling to and your body will continue to live as if it were still in the country you’re travelling from. To solve this, you need to set your time and mind to the country you’re travelling to. This forces your body to adjust to its new time zone and living habits.
4. Stay hydrated and exercise
Drink plenty of water while you’re travelling. Staying hydrated helps you effectively overcome jet lag. If you feel really sleepy after arrival, do some exercises to keep yourself awake. Exercise helps to fight jet lag and helps you stay agile.
5. Once you arrive, don’t immediately go to sleep
This may sound really odd but you need to help your body adjust to the new time zone as much as possible. Forcing your body to stay awake until the local bed time will help your body reset faster. The only exception to this is if you arrive at your destination at night. If you arrive at night, you’re free to enjoy your beauty sleep.
How do you deal with jet lag?