You’re all set for your holiday abroad. Your tickets are booked, your clothes are packed, and your camera is ready. Unfortunately, one thing that most travelers forget to take into account is jet lag. The feeling of nausea, anxiety, and tiredness can ruin the first few days of your holiday. We have compiled a comprehensive list of travel tips that can help you to avoid jet lag symptoms after a long flight.
- Also read: How much sleep do I need?
What causes jet lag?
To beat jet lag, we must first understand what causes it. When we travel across different time zones, it creates an imbalance in our circadian rhythm and disrupts our sleep schedule. Circadian rhythm is our internal body clock that regulates periods of sleep and wakefulness.
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The circadian rhythm also controls temperature, time of eating and hormones. So, jet lag can cause indigestion, bowel problems, loss of appetite, memory and concentration problems. Jet lag affects different people differently depending on their age and their health level.
The intensity of the symptoms also depends on the number of time zones you may have crossed.
Tips to avoid jet lag
Be prepared for the flight
Relax your mind and body before the flight. Take an extra day off from work and relax. You’ll be able to take the long journey much better if you start with a fresh mind. If you have a fixed schedule for eating and sleeping, relax it a bit.
This will help you take the changes during the journey and later much better.
Most people sleep for just a few hours before their journey. This can increase your stress levels and make it harder for you to adjust to new time zones. Make sure you get sound sleep before you start your journey.
Avoid night journeys
Night time travel can make the symptoms of jet lag much worse. Choose a flight that reaches the destination when the sun is shining bright. This way you will have a full day with you, and you will avoid sleeping through the first day of your holiday.
Be smart in your choice of plane
The plane in which you travel can also make a difference to your health levels. A380 and A350 are two excellent choices for comfortable travel. These planes are equipped with hi-tech humidification systems and LED lighting systems that ease your let lag systems.
Opt for a flight with a stopover
Try and split your journey. A stopover can help a lot in adjusting to the new time levels. Another advantage of a split trip is the lower costs of the tickets.
Avoid drinking while traveling
While it is tempting to start your holiday with a drink, it is best to avoid it. The effects of alcohol are worse at higher altitude. Drinking will increase your level of tiredness and will also cause dehydration. Together they all add to your jet lag symptoms.
Stay off sleeping pills
Many of us rely on sleeping pills to sleep through their journey. This is not a very good idea as sleeping pills will make you feel light-headed and fuzzy. And when you land at your destination, it will make the symptoms worse.
Sleeping during the flight is a good idea but do it the natural way. Have a cup of herbal tea to soothe your nerves and make you sleep better.
Avoid drinking caffeine-laden drinks like coffee, tea or colas. Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake during the flight. Drinking caffeine will leave you more tired by the end of the flight.
Set your watch
Before you get off the plane, set your clock to the local time of the destination. This will help you align your body to the new time zone. Preparing yourself in advance always helps.
Shut the window shades
Try to set your body clock according to the time zone of your destination. Shut the window shades and take a nap if it is night time at your destination.
Exercise your legs
Sitting in one place can be very tiring. Move your legs and exercise during the flight to improve your blood circulation and to avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Investing in a good pair of flight socks can also help deal with this problem.
Realign your meals
Time your meals according to the time zone of your destination. Realigning you meal timings will make it easier to adjust your body clock to the new time zone.
Get as much sun as possible
When you reach your destination, try and get as much sun as possible on the first day there. The bright sun will make you feel better.
Catch up on some exercise
Exercise can boost your energy and your mood. Try some quick exercises during the flight will make you feel better.
Get some sleep
If you’ve not been able to get much sleep before or during the flight, it is better to catch up with some sleep. This will energize you and help relieve the symptoms of jet lag.
Why is jet lag worse from east to west?
When you’re traveling from east to west, you will try to sleep when your body is awake. And when your body is telling you to go to sleep, you will force yourself to stay awake. This makes the symptoms of jet lag much worse while traveling from east to west.
Follow these few tips to avoid ruining the first few days of your holiday. After all, nobody likes to look dull and groggy in their holiday photographs.