Whether you are an inexperienced traveller or know the ropes, the best of us can get affected by jet lag (a.k.a. circadian dysrhythmia). Jet lag can hamper your exciting vacation plans. Instead of feeling thrilled to be on holiday, you may feel tired and totally out of sync with day and night. We’ve put together some smart ways of how you can beat jet lag.
1. Understand what jetlag is
It helps to acknowledge what you want to beat – jet lag is no different. Jet lag affects the internal body clock that helps keep your bodily functions in sync with the day and night patterns. It also affects your internal timer, disrupting sleep, causing havoc with moods, and sometimes even with your blood pressure.
2. Make adjustments before you leave
If you know you are about to travel, you may consider adjusting your inner clock gradually before you travel. Usually, you need 1 day to beat 1 hour’s worth of jetlag so about a week before you leave and depending on whether you’re going to an earlier or later time zone, start sleeping and eating earlier or later.
3. Synchronize sleep
After you enter the aircraft, you may consider resetting your clock to the local time at your destination. This will facilitate to adjust to the new time rhythm.
4. Hydrate aptly
You’ll notice that inside aeroplanes your skin stretches and dries up – this is because the air inside aeroplanes is typically quite dry and you may also be deprived of water, this can further exacerbate jetlag. Correcting this isn’t magic! Hydrate – drink plenty of water or juice and stay away from coffee and alcohol.
5. Move around
Inside the aeroplane, make sure that you walk around periodically. Try some stretches and also flex your muscles. After you land, take long leisurely walks that may cause you to feel tired so you can sleep according to the local time.
6. Regulate the light
It’s refreshing to catch some sunlight after a long flight. Sunlight works on the production of melatonin, the hormone in your body that makes you feel tired and help with sleep. Alternatively, regulate your exposure to light (artificial or natural), which are cues to your internal clock when to sleep and when to wake.
7. Check airline initiatives
You may also choose to explore airline initiatives, aiming to reduce and treat jet lag. Singapore Airlines has joined Canyon Ranch spa and is working on developing menus and exercises.
8. Power siesta
You can listen to your internal body cues. If you’re completely tired, take a power nap in the afternoon, but remember to wake up after half an hour.