[su_dropcap style=”default” size=”3″ class=””]M[/su_dropcap]illions of people from all across the globe travel frequently via planes and are constantly going back and forth through time zones. While New York and LA’s three-hour difference may be easy enough to adjust to, once you get from, say, LA to the UK, and have to deal with an 8-hour difference, or even more for Asia, the Middle East, Japan and Australia, then you’re talking about horrible jet lag settling in. Jet lag, to put it simply, is your body’s internal clock confused due to the different times. So, you’re used to going to sleep at X, waking at Y, and getting on with your day. In a different time zone, X and Y both change, sometimes drastically, and grogginess, crankiness, sleeplessness, etc, can all be negative side effects of jet lag.
Luckily, however, jet lag is such a common problem that there are many tips to help you defeat it quickly.
1:Tailor Your Flight Times
Unless you have to catch the last flight leaving or a red eye due to an emergency, time your flight so that you’re arriving in your new time zone in the evening. For instance, let’s say you’re leaving Virginia to travel to London. At this time of year, it’s a six-hour difference, and about a five-hour flight. Time your flight so that you’re landing in London in the evening, and make yourself stay up to 10 or 11pm. While this is only 4 or 5pm back home, make yourself grab at least a nap and try to get some sleep. And, please, do not sleep on the plane. It will be tough to get through the first night, and you may toss and turn, but you will be rewarded by getting on London time the next day.
2: Grab a Nap to Help
In your new city, a great way to defeat the jet lag is to grab a power nap to help you recharge for the day. With a quick power nap, you will be charged up for the rest of that day and can hopefully go to sleep on a regular night schedule in your new time zone. A napnook is a great location to visit to grab a quick power nap. This recharges your batteries and helps you to reset your clock.
3: Go to Sleep, or Stay Awake Longer
No matter where you’re landing, you have to try to either sleep right away or fight it off, depending on what time it is. For instance, you’re on a 12-hour flight to Australia and the drastic time difference means their days aren’t even the same; forget hours. What do you do now? Well, it all depends on what time it is in Australia. If you used the first tip, it should be evening. If it’s morning, you can grab a power nap if it’s night back home and you will be recharged, or you will just have to fight the sleep until it’s bedtime in Oz. Again, it might be a struggle for the first night, but then you’re on a new schedule.
4: Avoid Caffeine
Drinking coffee and tea and other caffeinated drinks will keep you artificially charged up and may cause you to crash out as soon as you feel tired. This will actually only prolong the jet lag for days. So, make sure you avoid drinks like coffee on your day of travel, and it’s best still to wean yourself off of coffee the day before. You don’t want anything interfering with your body’s natural ability to set its internal clock.
Jet lag can be very frustrating, but it doesn’t have to last long. By following a few simple tips, you can beat jet lag the first night and spend the rest of your trip on a new schedule.
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