One of the main signals that help to regulate our body clocks is light, which helps us to reset our internal clocks each day to match the sun. A major change in time zones can mean that our bodies get very confused which can lead to extreme fatigue, indigestion and bowel problems, loss of appetite, memory and concentration issues or a general feeling of being unwell. Here are some general tips for dealing with jet lag.
- Leave home well-rested. Make sure you’re fully rested before you travel. If you’re flying overnight and you can get a bit of sleep on the flight, it will help you to stay up until night time once you arrive at your destination.
- Change your sleep routine. A few days before you travel, start getting up and going to bed earlier or later according to where is your destination country located. During the flight, try to eat and sleep according to your destination’s local time.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can intensify the effects of jet lag, especially after sitting in a dry airplane cabin for many hours. Avoid alcoholic and caffeine drinks during your flight.
- Use remedies with caution. Many airline staff takes melatonin, a hormone formed by the body at night or in darkness to try to fight jet lag. Sleeping medication is not recommended as it doesn’t help your body to adjust naturally to a new sleeping pattern.
- Natural light. Light exposure is a key. Even if you feel sleepy, getting yourself out in daylight will help trigger the hormonal cycle that will eventually make you sleepy at the appropriate nighttime hour.
- Move. Move around regularly and do exercises to keep the blood circulating which will make you feel better.
- Stay on home time. If your trip is short and you’re traveling over more than three time zones, you could be better off not adjusting at all. Three days or less is barely enough time to adjust, so it may not be worth the effort.