When traveling across multiple time zones, the body needs time to adjust its daily circadian rhythm making the first day of a trip a write-off for many unlucky travelers. Luckily, there are tricks to mitigate these effects and help get the most out of traveling.
Jet lag affects the system for up to a few days and can put a damper on those shorter vacationing periods because what begins as a week long vacation is stifled by an overwhelming need to rest. Here are some ways to help keep jet lag at bay and get the most out of every holiday, no matter the distance.
Adjusting Your Internal Clock
Adjusting one's sleep schedule a couple of days before a flight can drastically reduce the effects of jet lag. Also, changing sleeping habits to mimic the day/night cycle of the desired time zone reduces the adjustment period needed for the body. Take a few extra days and start becoming accustomed to the new sleep and wake patterns.
Hydration allows for optimal performance of the body, so having water on hand during a lengthy flight is important to help your body adjust while traveling. Having a bottle of water is an easy solution to dampen the impact of jet lag. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water while visiting a new climate, because dehydration and jet lag have the same negative impact on a well-planned vacation.
Avoid Alcohol And Coffee
Coffee and alcohol are both diuretic substances, which means they encourage the body to expel water and salt that slowly dehydrates the body. Though the effects of both alcohol and caffeine are pleasant at the time, once they wear off the body will again need a chance to recover. These substances further alter sleeping habits which make it harder to adjust to new time zone, so avoid consuming too much. Of course, suggesting to refrain from indulging on vacation is a less than a palatable option, so for the duration of the flight just stick with water.
Depending on the kind of vacationer, there can be a lot of exertion on trips so being prepared for that is important. One of the best ways to start banishing jet lag is to go outside and get moving. Getting outdoors also gives the opportunity to go sightseeing, and exposure to sunlight and movement will help get your body in tune with the time change and make sleeping when desired more manageable.
Sleep And Relaxation
Sleeping is as obvious as it is important so getting some shut-eye during the flight and having regular sleeping times during the trip will cut down on grogginess and jet lag alike. Relaxation is equally important so that one does not over-exert themselves. Try taking time out to listen to music or read as these breaks will help keep energy high and power you through the day. Activities like these not only stop jet lag but can also make for a better all around travel.
Even though there are tons of tricks that promise to prevent jet lag, some variables cannot be foreseen making it impossible to avoid a lethargic day or two. However, if planned accordingly there is no reason to risk spoiling the high points of a trip. Try planning events that 'must be done' near the middle or end to avoid feeling too drained to participate. When jet lag cannot be prevented, planning will compensate to assure a great trip.