The time zone has a perilous role here. When we travel towards East, time zone shifts towards reduction & while towards West, it increases. A jet lag occurs when our body is constantly hit by changing time zones which disrupts our Circadian rhythm & our natural sleeping cycles which affects our body and hence our health. Jet lags can leave you fatigued & drowsy with no energy left for traveling. We call Jet Lag directly proportional to changing time zones, i.e., the faster you change, the faster symptoms for jet lags will be.
You traveled after months of planning for some days of vacations and all you get is a jet lagged and tired body.
Don’t worry, the hacks & tips below will help you for a pleasant trip –
- Prepare beforehand – This is very imperative. You need to prepare yourself even before taking any flight at your home. Firstly, let’s again grasp the basics. If you are flying East, Time shift decreases and that means you should prepare yourself for shorter day time & hence make your body adapt beforehand as per the norms. Similarly, if flying to west add a couple of hours to your normal sleeping routine. This will help in long run and you will adapt very soon to the changing climate & atmosphere.
- Tailor your Circadian rhythm – While in airplane, it’s easy to sleep out as the lights are dimmed but it’s not the time to sleep but the time to wake up and set your clock as per the timings of your destined area. If its day there, you need to wake up & if there’s night there you can sleep irrespective of what’s there at your area. This will help your brain to adjust more easily.
- Melatonin Supplements – Melatonin is our body’s natural sleep hormone. While supplements & medicines should be avoided but this is pretty safe & available as Capsules or liquid syrup. This can help in jet lags. A dose of 0.5mg is enough per day.
- Add water, Subtract Caffeine & Alcohol – This is not a rocket science. Air is reasonably dry in airplanes. This dry air tends to dehydrate you and you should keep on sipping good amount of water across the trip. A pro tip here can be to carry a small insulated water bottle of capacity around 1100mL & fill it up after the security checkups. That way water will remain fresh & you can be hydrated and avoid appalling economic class services during long-hauls.
While water should be consumed in good amount, avoid alcohol at all costs. One glass of wine might help you in sleeping but will dehydrate your body and worsen jet lag symptoms. Same is the case with other caffeinated beverages like tea & coffee.
So just consume water & juices!
- Eat in limits – An airplane food might look alluring but you should consume in moderation. Now, there is a vicious circle in here. If you are flying East & you plan to sleep early then your normal routine, then eat heavy carbs food like Pasta, Burgers which will make you full & induce sleep. However, if going West then remember to take light food items like protein rich food items including Eggs, fish etc. They will make you full but not beyond an extent.
- Stopover – Another hack is that rather than going directly to your place of choice, stop for time at a convenient place to adapt quickly. Like stay at Dubai or Singapore for couple days & then fly East.
The whole game is to trick your brain into believing that it’s the same place where you reside & using all tools, hacks given above. It will largely eliminate your jet lag problem. Also one more important thing to follow is not to take rest if your flight landed in day time even if you feel lazy. An afternoon nap will make matters worse so try to have an overnight flight where you can rest in airplane or an early morning flight where you can sleep for a couple of hours.
Don’t think what time will be at your place & do what people do. If they are having breakfast, so should you.
Thanks for reading!