What is jet lag?
Jet lag: the bane of every traveler's existence. It's that groggy, disoriented feeling that comes with crossing three or more time zones, and it can ruin the first few days of your vacation or business trip.
Jet lag is a condition that occurs when a person's internal body clock is out of sync with the local time in the new time zone they have traveled to. It can cause symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating. The severity of jet lag symptoms can vary depending on the number of time zones crossed and the direction of travel.
Fear not, fellow jetsetters, for we have some tips and tricks to help you combat this pesky ailment.
How to combat jet lag
Adjust your sleep schedule
First and foremost, prepare for your trip by adjusting your sleep schedule in the days leading up to it. If you're flying east, start going to bed and waking up earlier. If you're flying west, do the opposite. This will help your body gradually adjust to the new time zone.
On the plane, it's important to stay hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate you and disrupt your sleep. Instead, opt for water and herbal tea. And if you're able to, try to sleep on the plane (with the help of a comfortable neck pillow and earplugs, of course).
Get some sun
Once you arrive at your destination, make sure to get plenty of sunlight during the day to help reset your body clock. Sunlight slows or halts your melatonin production (the sleep hormone) so you feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
Get some exercise
This one goes hand in hand with the sunlight advice above. Go outside and take a walk (or some other light activity–pun intended). The exercise and sunlight exposure will help re-calibrate your circadian rhythm.
Try sleep accessories
And if you're having trouble sleeping at night, try using earplugs and a sleep mask to block out any noise and light.
Stick to your time zone
Another tip is to try to stick to your usual routine as much as possible, even if it means going for a run at 6am or having dinner at 3pm. This will help your body adjust more quickly.
This too shall pass
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, don't stress about jet lag. It's a normal part of travel and it will pass. Just remind yourself that it's temporary and you'll be back to your normal self in no time.
Jet lag is an inevitable part of travel, but with a little preparation and some smart strategies, it doesn't have to ruin your trip. So, pack your earplugs and sleep mask, adjust your sleep schedule, and embrace your next adventure.