Don’t You Hate Jet Lag?
It’s summer and we eagerly anticipate our long-awaited vacations to exotic destinations. One thing that can put a damper on our excitement is jet lag. The fatigue, disorientation, and overall feeling of unease that come with crossing time zones can slows down our enjoyment of first few days of our vacation.
Why Does This Happen?
Our bodies have an internal clock known as the circadian rhythm. It regulates essential functions such as sleep, wakefulness, and metabolism. When we venture across time zones, our circadian rhythm gets disturbed, giving us jet lag. The abrupt alteration between periods of light and darkness confuses our internal clock, leaving us feeling disoriented and out of sync with the new time zone.
How to Beat Jet Lag
Here are five ways to beat to jet lag.
Adjust Your Sleep Schedule Before Departure
Preparing your body for the upcoming time zone change is crucial in minimizing the impact of jet lag. Gradually adjust your sleep schedule a few days before your departure. If you’re flying east, try going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. For westward travel, shift your sleep routine later. This gradual adjustment will help synchronize your body clock with the destination’s local time, making the transition smoother.
Stay Hydrated Throughout Your Journey
Air travel often leads to dehydration due to the dry cabin air and limited access to fluids. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your flight. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate you further. Proper hydration not only helps alleviate the symptoms of jet lag but also keeps you energized and refreshed upon arrival.
Embrace Natural Light and Fresh Air
Upon reaching your destination, expose yourself to natural sunlight as soon as possible. Sunlight plays a pivotal role in regulating our internal body clocks, known as circadian rhythms. Spend time outdoors, take a walk, or engage in activities that allow you to soak up the sunlight. Fresh air and physical movement will help invigorate your senses and promote wakefulness during the day, helping you adjust to the local time zone more quickly.
Nap with Caution
While a quick nap can be tempting after a long journey, it’s crucial to nap strategically to avoid disrupting your sleep schedule. Limit your nap duration to 20-30 minutes, preferably earlier in the day. This power nap can provide a brief boost of energy without interfering with your regular nighttime sleep. Avoid napping too close to your usual bedtime, as it can make it harder to fall asleep at the appropriate local time.
Adjust Your Meal Times
Adapting your meal times to the local schedule of your destination can aid in resetting your internal clock. Once you arrive, try to align your meal times with the local dining hours. This adjustment helps your body adjust to the new time zone and promotes a sense of normalcy. Additionally, choose for lighter meals closer to bedtime to avoid indigestion, allowing for better quality sleep.
Be Patient With Yourself and Others
You and your family will adjust. With these strategies in your travel arsenal, you’ll be well-equipped to combat jet lag and enjoy every moment of your summer vacation. Bon voyage!
If you need some help in the sleep department when you get there, here are two great products to help you with sleep, Sleep Eze and/or a Good Night Essential Oil Roller Bottle. (Ask me about wholesale pricing.)
All-natural Sleep EZE is formulated with a proprietary blend of herbs (passion flower, valerian, lemon balm chamomile, hops) and other natural ingredients to support healthy, restful sleep.
Good Night 2.5% is an exclusive blend of Good Night Essential Oil and Kukui Carrier Oil for quick and easy application.
For more tips on the circadian rhythm and staying well during your travels, check out my blog posts, Boost Your Mood with EcoTherapy, Poor Sleep Impacts Heart Health, “How o Stay Healthy During Your Winter Travels” to Stay Healthy during your Winter Travels.”