It is safe to say that we love to travel. However, there is one aspect of travel that we are not the biggest fans of: Jet Lag.
Jet Lag occurs when your body’s circadian rhythm, or internal body clock, is out of time when travelling. Your body is fighting with its usual rhythms, of when you wake up, go to sleep and eat, with the time zone of your new location. This desynchronisation not only affects your sleep, but your temperature, blood pressure, hunger levels, and most importantly, your ability to enjoy your holiday.
After years of battling jet lag with every flight away and flight home, we have compiled our top five tips for surviving jet lag. Whether you are looking for ways to make the most of your holiday, or adjust to being back home, this list will be sure to help you.
Before The Flight
1. Shift Your Time Zone Early
Whether you’re heading home from an overseas adventure, or preparing for your upcoming holiday the number one way to take the edge off jet lag is shifting your time zone early. Preemptively adjusting your body to the new time zone will definitely help you ease into your new routine.
Sleeping during the correct sleeping hours of your new time zone the day before you fly, and throughout your flight will dramatically reduce your jet lag. Also, try to adjust your eating times to fit the new time zone as well. Sure, it might be tedious or even inconvenient, but trust us: This really works!
Use the app Timeshifter to help you shift time zones with ease, both before and after your flight.
During The Flight
2. Skip Alcohol and Caffeine
For us, this is one of the hardest hurdles when trying to fight off jet lag. It is so tempting to indulge yourself with complementary alcoholic and caffeinated beverages throughout your flight, especially if it is long haul.
While a glass of wine might help you drift off to sleep, the effects will wear off quickly due to the effect alcohol has while you are up so high. In fact, you will end up being more dehydrated and find it harder to adjust to the new time zone once you land. Coffee and tea should also be avoided as you don’t want anything artificial preventing you from getting your well deserved rest.
As airplanes are notoriously dry, your skin will thank you for sticking to water throughout your flight.
After The Flight
3. Avoid Blue Light
We believe that everyone should follow this tip everyday, not just when trying to survive jet lag. Exposure to blue light throws off your body’s natural circadian rhythm, and confuses your brain, making it think it is still daytime. So, be sure to steer clear of any blue lights for at least an hour before bed, whether it be your device or fluorescent lighting, to ensure you can fall asleep as easily as possible.
Your body clock will be confused enough being half way around the world, avoid blue light to avoid stressing yourself out any further.
4. Take Melatonin
Let us begin by saying that we are not doctors, and this is in no way medical advice. However, one thing that we have found particularly helpful when trying to adjust to a new time zone is the use of Melatonin. Melatonin is naturally produced by your brain, and is responsible for telling your body when to go to sleep. Luckily for us, supplements of the hormone Melatonin are readily available.
If you are having difficulty falling asleep, or even getting sleepy, try 0.5 mg of Melatonin to help you on your way to a good night’s sleep.
5. Morning Exercise
For some of us, exercising is the last thing that you want to do on your holiday. For others, it is a brilliant way to not only stay fit while you are indulging in the local cuisine, but explore your new location. Whether you are a fan of working out while on holiday, or not, it is something that can seriously reduce the effect of jet lag.
By getting up with the natural morning light and getting your blood flowing, your body will wake up far easier. Plus, once you’ve ticked off your morning run, you can reward yourself with a nice big breakfast before a day of exploring.