3 Ways To Make Jet Lag Easier When Traveling Abroad
Jet lag is one of the most common side effects of traveling abroad, especially if you cross several time zones, even in Emirates first class or Gulf Air business class (I use my UK credit cards with airmiles to pay for these, working out how air miles work is a game changer)! The condition is caused by a disruption in the body’s internal clock, which regulates our sleep-wake cycle. When you travel to a new time zone, your body clock becomes out of sync with the local time, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay awake at the right times.
Jet lag can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, insomnia, headaches, and digestive problems. Fortunately, you can minimize the effects of jet lag and make your travels more enjoyable. This article will explore three ways to make jet lag easier when traveling abroad.
1. Stay Hydrated and Avoid Alcohol
Dehydration can make jet lag worse, so stay hydrated during your flight and throughout your trip. Drink lots of water before, during, and after your flight, and avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which can dehydrate you.
Alcohol can also interfere with your sleep and make it harder to adjust to the local time zone. While having a drink or two on the plane may be tempting, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether, especially during the first few days of your trip.
In addition to staying hydrated, you can also help your body adjust to the new time zone by getting plenty of natural light during the day. Exposure to sunlight can help reset your body clock and promote feelings of wakefulness. Try to spend time outside during the day or open the curtains in your hotel room to let in natural light.
Making your travel experience as easy as possible can also help with jet lag. For example, if you’re traveling in Melbourne for the day, it can help a great deal to look into Melbourne luggage storage options. That way, you can explore the city and get sun sunshine without hauling around heavy luggage. This will keep your energy up so you can manage your jet lag easier.
2. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule Before You Leave
Minimize the effects of jet lag by gradually adjusting your sleep schedule before you leave for your trip. This technique, known as “circadian rhythm adjustment, ” involves shifting your sleep and wake times over several days to match the time zone you will be traveling to. By doing so, you can reduce the amount of disruption to your body clock when you arrive at your destination.
To make the adjustment, gradually shift your bedtime and wake time earlier or later each day, depending on the direction of the time change. If you are traveling eastward, try to go to bed and wake up earlier each day. If you are traveling westward, try to go to bed and wake up later each day. Ideally, you should aim to arrive at your destination with your sleep schedule already adjusted to the local time.
To adjust your sleep schedule, start by determining the time difference between your current location and your destination. Then, calculate how many days you have before your trip and divide the time difference by the number of days.
If you are traveling from New York to Melbourne, for example, which is a 14-hour time difference, and you have five days before your trip, you would need to shift your sleep and wake times by two to three hours per day.
3. Consider Using Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and is naturally produced by the body in response to darkness. Taking a melatonin supplement can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle and make it easier to fall asleep at the right times when traveling across time zones.
You should only take melatonin supplements with the guidance of a healthcare professional, as they can have side effects and interact with other medications. In addition, melatonin supplements are not appropriate for everyone, including pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions.
If you do decide to use melatonin, make sure you take it at the right time. Melatonin should be taken about 30 minutes before your bedtime in the new time zone. This will help your body adjust to the new sleep schedule and reduce the symptoms of jet lag. Be careful to use melatonin supplements responsibly and avoid taking more than the recommended dosage.
Sleep Well While You Travel
Jet lag is a common issue for adventurers, but there are effective strategies to make it easier to manage. By adjusting your sleep schedule before you leave, staying hydrated and avoiding alcohol, and considering the use of melatonin, you can decrease the effects of jet lag and enjoy your travels.
Remember to give yourself time to adjust to the new time zone and be patient with your body as it adapts. With these tips, you can make your travels abroad more comfortable and enjoyable.
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