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How to Combat Jet Lag

Tips on How You Can Combat Jet Lag and Smoothly Tackle Time Zones

Jet lag is a problem that travelers face on several occasions, where their bodies cannot keep up with their ever-changing travel schedule. Learn about how to adjust yourself to a bumpy schedule and fight off jet lag...
SleepHearty Staff
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Desynchronosis or informally known jet lag, is a condition that comes about when one's bodily functions are altered due to the different time zones while traveling, where their circadian rhythms are interrupted. The body has its own set of timings (circadian rhythms) to follow and accordingly works out in varied functions of the body when it comes to releasing hormones, maintaining body temperature, regulating glucose in the bloodstream, triggering sleep and so on.

All these activities that the body is continuously working out on is controlled by what is known as the hypothalamus, which keeps a tab on the light that the eye transmits to it. The optic nerves in our eyes, perceive light and signal these different light perceptions to the hypothalamus, making it follow a certain sequence when it comes to vital functions. Jet lag if done over long periods of time without dealing with its effects beforehand, can lead to problems like insomnia, anxiety, confusion, memory loss, nausea, headaches, constipation, profuse sweating, dehydration and so on. You can also fall terribly ill and notice evident health issues that the body then signals out to the person, making things far more complicated in the long run.

Those who tend to travel major distances like for leisure, business meetings or conferences, are in completely different time zones that the body isn't used to, like that of your area. Morning right now, could be midnight elsewhere, where one would be sleeping soundly while you start off on your day at work. Messing up your system's well laid out routine, could put it in a state of chaos where getting it back on track is your prime objective now.

Tips on How to Beat Jet Lag

These remedies will help you fend off jet lag, without putting your health at risk while returning your body's state to normal.

Shield Your Eyes
Eye shades are a great way to help you sleep better, without having that pesky sunlight stream through and disrupt your sleep. Keep to your normal hours of sleep by adjusting to the morning light using the eye shades to trick your senses into believing that it is night. Keep a handy pair of these while traveling and get that much-needed sleep whether on the plane or cooped up in a hotel room.

Take a Small Nap
Once you land, it may seem ridiculous to you to take a nap at say 12 in the afternoon, but your body needs to feel and look rested. If you had a good sleep on board, then taking a nap wouldn't seem necessary. Nonetheless take a one hour nap, and keep an alarm next to you so that you don't overdo nap time. Depending on what time your flight lands, adjust your alarm accordingly, since for instance 4 am in your current destination would require you to sleep longer.

Time Your Watch
If you're going on a long trip, helping your body adjust to this sudden change in time zones will help. You can't always sleep according to your hometown's time zone, so helping your body shift its timings will help. Change the time on your watch and follow a well worked out schedule of sleeping on time and eating meals at the right intervals. Get your body to adapt to this change, especially when on long trips away from home. Short trips can make use of you sticking to your hometown time zone, by calculating the time and following the same routine.

Caffeine Troubles
It is a known fact that caffeine keeps you up and alert during the day or even up at night if you have to pull an all-nighter to complete an important project. Drinking caffeinated beverages in the morning before your night flight will help your body sleep better on the flight, without having to drink this before you board the plane. Make it a habit to drink coffee or drinks with caffeine depending on what time your flight is. Skip it if it is a night flight to give your body that much-needed rest before your day begins.

Noise Canceling Earphones
This electronic gizmo is a must have for those who need quiet while on a flight, especially for light sleepers. Own a good pair of these and find yourself sleeping much better on flights. The droning of the airplane will melt into the silence of the earphones, ensuring a sound sleep.

Warm Shower
Taking a shower will help you stay awake longer, relaxing those tense muscles that have been struggling to adjust for hours on a plane. Loosen them up by soaking yourself in a nice long hot tub session, or douse yourself in a warm shower to boost your system to wake up.

Practicing the ways on how to combat jet lag will help you to deal with long flights and constant traveling. Whether you are a busy woman or man who's up and about when it comes to your job, or whether you are a globe-trotter, these tips on avoiding jet lag will help you over time.