If you are planning a trip that requires a fairly long flight by plane, and your destination is several hours out of your time zone at home, it can only mean one thing: jet lag.
Jet lag is a condition that can ruin the first day or two of your trip, if you don't plan ahead for it by following this advice.
What Is Jet Lag?
When you shift temporarily to another time zone that is at least a couple of hours ahead or behind the one you are used to, your body has to adjust to a new pattern. You may feel tired and irritable, and notice that the time of day feels all wrong to your body. The period of adjustment is known commonly as “jet lag.”
Since a lot of long-distance travel does not involve weeks or months at the new location, most people want to make the adjustment period as short and painless as possible, so they can enjoy their time.
Common Jet-Lag Remedies
Everyone has a weird tip for getting over jet lag or preventing it, but not all of them work. Part of the problem is that a lot of suggestions are dependent on the type of travel you are doing, whether you are staying in one place or moving all over the world, and how you generally sleep outside of your own bed.
Ideally, you want to:
- Be well-rested before you fly
- Get the right kind of quality rest on the plane
- Stay hydrated
- Adjust to the new time zone as soon as possible
Making wise decisions about each of these steps will help your body adapt to the new time zone in a shorter amount of time.
Should I Take Melatonin for Jet-Lag Prevention?
Experts say that sleeping on the plane could be good for preventing jet lag, or might make it worse. It depends on the time of your flight and which direction you are going. If you are leaving at night and arriving in the morning, sleeping on the plane will help reset your internal clock. But when you leave in the morning and arrive in the evening, you should limit sleeping to a shorter nap so you can go to bed at the right time when you arrive.
The use of sleep remedies is based on the type of sleep you plan to get on the plane. Be careful about taking melatonin or stronger sleep drugs like Ambien on the plane. If they have not worn off by the time you arrive, you may be sleepy or sluggish as you pass through customs. It may be a better choice to take the melatonin once you go to bed at your hotel.
Is There an Anti Jet-Lag Diet?
The use of meals can help you to prevent jet lag, but it is the timing and quantity of the food that experts recommend more than the actual food choices. As you prepare for your trip, start to adjust the times of day in which you eat. Lean toward smaller snacks over big meals as you get closer to your flight. On the trip, once it is morning time at your destination, eat a sizeable breakfast. This will tell your body it is time to wake up and eat, and you will probably feel better as a result.
Jet lag is a frustrating thing to deal with on a trip. With these tips, you can prevent the worst of it and ensure it only lasts for a little while.