Do you experience nausea, fatigue, headache, and difficulty in concentrating after a long flight? If yes, then you have what the medical fraternity calls Desynchronosis. In layman terms, it means jet lag.
This happens when your body’s rhythm, also called circadian rhythm, is out of sync. Basically, your body thinks that it is in one time zone when it is actually in a different time zone. This confusion makes one feel tired and lethargic.
So how do you beat it? Here are 5 great tips tried and tested by frequent travelers to overcome jet lag.
1. Prepare Yourself For The Travel
A good night’s sleep before you take off is very important for minimizing the effects of jet lag. It is a well-known fact that jet lag is worse when people travel east than west.
This is because the body feels that the day gets shorter when flying east and gets longer when flying west. Hence, plan to go to bed at least an hour early for a few days before your flight if traveling east and at least an hour later if traveling west.
2. Set Your Watch
Your body requires time to settle into a new time zone. Hence setting your watch to the destination time zone before takeoff will help you be psychologically aligned. If you primarily use your phone to check the time, use the World Clock feature to set an extra clock for showing the time of your future location.
It is also a good idea to set the time feature of all your electronic devices such as your computer, Kindle or tablet, to the destination time. This will serve as a strong visual cue for your mind to make the time switch.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drinking ample amounts of water can soften the blow of jet lag. The body functions optimally when it is well hydrated. One must avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, energy drinks and cola as it dehydrates the body.
Airplane food must also be consumed with caution as it is rich in carbohydrates and processed oils that can leave you feeling heavy and tired. Instead, opt for lighter and nutrient dense food such as vegetables, lean meat, and fresh fruits.
4. Snooze On The Plane
While the quality of sleep on a plane cannot match that of a bed, it is better than getting no sleep at all. Travelling takes a toll on your body and sleeping helps it to relax. It is also the most efficient way to kill the flight time. Traveling in comfortable clothes, carrying inflatable cushions and putting on earplugs will help you sleep better. Also, stop using your phones and laptops an hour before your flight nap time.
5. Seek Sunshine Once You Land
Finally, even though sleep may be the first things on your mind once you have landed, it is highly recommended to stay awake until an early local bedtime. Sleeping at an odd hour and lying awake at night will only worsen the effects of jet lag.
Hence, refresh yourself by taking a shower and head outdoors. Exposing yourself to daylight and fresh air will do you a world of good.
Milan holds a Masters in Business Administration and has taken a self-inflicted exile from the paid workforce to look after her twin daughters. She is trying to find the answer to the most dreaded question of any stay-at-home mum,”What do you do?”