Flying is the best way to cover long distances in the shortest amount of time, but it does come with some drawbacks. You have probably all heard of the term jet lag, but do you know what consequences does it leave on one’s body? It it very common to develop disturbed sleeping patterns, and once that happens, you are bound to encounter problems with focus and concentration, as well as daytime fatigue. In most cases, frequent travelers develop stomach problems as well.
What is Jat Lag?
Before we dig any deeper in an attempt to fight off jet lag, let’s explain why it even happens. The simple answer is, when you travel across multiple time zones, your body doesn’t have enough time to adjust to the new sleeping schedule, and as a result, you may encounter some of the symptoms mentioned above. Each person has a biological clock inside which controls our need for sleep, eating and every other activity. It is usually regulated by light exposure, social interactions, mealtimes, and so on. However, when we switch time zones, it all gets shaken up and our body needs some time to adjust. The older you are the harder it gets, and that’s why it is important to prepare you body in the best way possible. Here is how to do that.
- Take a hot bath
It may sound too simple to be effective, but trust me, taking a hot bath is the way to go. Not only that it will relax your muscles after a long day, it will also calm you down mentally, which will help you fight off insomnia. Furthermore, after a bath, your body temperature will go down as well, and that can also help make you sleepy. Sometimes the easiest tricks are the best ones.
- Pay attention to your diet
There isn’t a direct correlation between diet and fatigue caused by jet lag, but that doesn’t mean that you should eat the first thing that comes to your mind. As you probably already know, eating a heavy meal in the evening, which is full of carbs, will effectively wake you up, and that is the last thing you would want to happen. Even if you are starving after a long trip, do not fall for this trap and grab the first thing off the shelf. Canned food is usually full of sugars, and when you are already dealing with jet lag, it will only make it worse. Easy meal a few hours before bedtime is the way to go.
- Avoid any distractions
Even if you follow all the rules, you might fall into temptation to take a short midday nap, and that is perfectly fine, as long as it doesn’t turn into a full day coma. Still, it can be difficult to sleep with the sunlight in your face and noisy people all around. As with most things, there is a simple solution to this problem as well. Grab a couple of ear plugs and an eye mask, and all of these problems will go away.
- Try to simulate new schedule a few weeks in advance
Preparation is the key to success. If you know in advance which country are you going to visit, try changing your sleeping schedule little by little. This will give you a lot more time to prepare, and your body will be ready for the changes as they occur. We are not saying that you should change your sleeping regiment completely, but if you move it by just a couple of hours, it can be a game changer.
- Use the natural light to your advantage
As we mentioned earlier, one of the most important things that our body uses to determine how much sleep do we need is by exposure to natural light. That is why it can be so hard to get up on those gloomy winter days, when the only thing you want is to sleep 24/7. This may seem like a common knowledge, but it can be a big weapon when fighting with jet lag. Instead of going to bed at noon with a face mask on, try taking a walk through the park. Some physical exercise and the sunlight will wake you up instantly, and once the night comes, you are guaranteed to have a good night of sleep. It is the perfect solution to your problems.