Jetlag is an unfortunate travel side effect. It is the confused feeling physical bodies get when travelling long distances at high speeds. Bodies are thrown out of sync and our biological clock gets weirded out with the time differences and normal routine activities such as eating and sleeping are thrown out of whack.
Jet lag can cause extreme fatigue, indigestion and bowel problems, a loss of appetite, memory and concentration issues or a general feeling of being unwell. Studies have found that it takes a full day to recover from each time zone one travels through.
It is also supported that travelers going from west to east are more prone to jetlag compared to travelers travelling in opposite direction. This is because people’s bodies are better equipped to deal with longer days than shorter ones. When you travel from west to east, you are forcing your body to sleep when it is actually waking up.
Here are some advice on how to deal with the bane of time zone crossers, jetsetters and frequent flyers.
The day before
- Get a good night’s sleep. As excited you maybe, you’ll regret staying up when jetlag ruins your trip adventure.
- If you can, get a flight that arrives at daylight. Your body will adjust more to staying awake and fitting in with new schedule. Or you can opt to fly to places on the Greenwich meridian.
- Try to change your schedule to match the times of your destination. People with rigid schedules for eating and sleeping might find some difficulty adjusting to Eastern Time and should do this ahead of time.
- Try to build a stopover to get your body to rest and have more time to adjust to new routines.
During the flight
- Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol at high altitudes can increase tiredness and dehydration which will add to our jetlag feeling. Opt for water instead.
- If you can’t avoid landing at night, avoid any caffeinated beverages, sodas and energy drinks. Drinks like this will distort your sleep patterns more which add to tiredness.
- Don’t take sleeping pills or medications to help you sleep, they will just leave you fuzzy feeling. However if you have long flights, you should try sleeping, try drinking a cup of warm tea or milk.
- Set your time to the time of your destination as soon as you get on the plane. This will help your brain orient itself psychologically.
- Exercise and keep your blood pumping. Healthy blood circulation will help you feel better.
- Start following the time schedules of the place as soon as you arrive. Eat when locals eat and sleep when they sleep.
- Get some sun, if there’s any by the time you land. The sun boosts energy levels and will make you feel better.
- Stretch and do some exercise to get your blood pumping and systems running.
- Try to get sleep, as much as you normally would within a day.
- As a last resort, you can invest in a pair of Hi-tech jetlag glasses.