Are you aware that you have an internal body clock? Jet Lag is a real thing. I always feel exhausted on my trips at least for a few days. So, I had to figure out ways to minimize jet Lag to jump start fun on my trips. These 10 ways to minimize jet Lag is what you need to know on your trips.
Not to sound like a geek or go down the science route, but we all have an internal body clock that regulates how we handle certain activities. It is your internal body clock that adapts to a certain time for sleeping. It is why you may find it hard to stay awake after a certain time.
Being jet lag is a common challenge for travelers crossing multiple time zones. It often happens when the internal body clock is tampered due to the varying time zones, and can be quite a hassle. Sometimes, it can dampen your mood and even limit your ability to enjoy your trip.
As someone who has been victim to being jet lagged multiple times, I can attest that it isn’t a funny experience. After a while, I began to look up ways to minimize experiencing jet lag when I travel, and I will be sharing some of these tips with you.
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Ways to Minimize Jet Lag
Jet Lag is a major issue for travelers. I always feel so tired after a long trip that I cannot do much. So, these tips on how to minimize jetlag made it easy for me to enjoy my trip.
Research the time zone ahead
It is common for travelers to always research about their destination city. However, no one really pays attention to the time zone or time difference. You would often find people wanting to know the available accommodation or food options.
Recently, I added a new trick to my traveling routine. Whenever I know I’m traveling to a place with a varying time zone, I make sure to research the time zone ahead. Few weeks or days before my trips, I gradually start adjusting my sleeping schedule to it with my destination’s time zone.
Of course, it’s going to feel weird at first. However, it does the trick by ensuring that I don’t feel jet lag by the time I arrive at my destination city. By doing this, I’ve found a way to regulate my internal body clock to align with my destination’s time.
I know, I know. You may be tired of always hearing people say you should drink water and stay hydrated. I’m not here to educate you on the importance of staying hydrated. However, I’m here to let you know that you should stay hydrated if you desire to minimize jet lag.
Water automatically becomes my best friend when I’m on any trip as I can be sure that it is a safe option for my body system. Before the flight, during the flight, and even after the flight, I always have my good share of water and stay hydrated.
It wouldn’t be easy ignoring the caffeinated and carbonated drinks you may be served on the flight. However, keep in mind that dehydration can exacerbate the effects of jet lag and you do not want that to happen.
Hard as it might be, you need to stay active upon arrival at your destination. Now, I’m not saying you should engage in rigorous work out or activities; even I won’t do that! But, it is essential to engage in light physical activities to assist your internal body clock.
These exercises help to combat the stiffness that comes with being on long flights. Even during the trip, you can get up and move around the cabin regularly. It would help improve circulation and reduce discomfort.
Once you engage in walks and light stretches, it’s easier for your body clock to adjust to your destination’s time zone.
Reset your time devices
Are you going to a place that operates on a different time zone from your home country? If yes, then one of the first things you should do once you board your flight is to reset all your time devices to the local time of your destination country. You have no business seeing the time of your home country when you’re in a different time zone.
Doing this helps with conditioning of the mindset as it would adjust to the time that it is seeing at the moment. If you leave your devices on the time of your home country, it would be hard for your internal body clock to adjust, leaving you cranky.
Choose the right flight
Picking the right flight for your trip especially as it pertains to timing goes a long way in minimizing jet lag. I read somewhere that it is always best to pick flights that arrive at your destination in the evening. I initially didn’t understand the reason why until I tried it.
Arriving at your destination in the evening also helps with conditioning of the mind. By the time you arrive and see that it is night hours, your body will adjust, making it easier for you to go to bed at the right time. By the next morning, you are feeling energized, and you can go ahead with your activities as planned.
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Avoid heavy meals
I personally find it weird that people can eat while on a trip, but I know that I cannot compare myself to others. It is best that you avoid heavy meals while traveling, especially when going to a destination with varying time zones.
Heavy meals can disrupt your digestion and make it difficult to sleep. Of course, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t eat while traveling. But instead of going for a heavy meal, you should opt for lighter meals during the flight.
Also, foods high in carbohydrates can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. So, you should opt for those options first before considering others.
Take light naps
Let’s say you got to your destination in the morning or afternoon. Of course, it would be tempting to fall right on the bed and sleep to your heart’s content. After all, it’s been such a long flight and you’re tired. Yes, there is every justification for you to sleep.
However, it wouldn’t be the best thing to do as it would mess with your internal body clock. When you sleep for a long time, you’re most likely to wake up at night when it’s time to actually sleep. Then, the cycle continues, messing with your plans for the trip.
So, no matter how tired you might be when you arrive, opt for short power naps of 20-30 mins.
I’m not the best when it comes to bonding with nature or the outdoors, but I’ve learned that exposing yourself to natural light helps with resetting the body’s internal clock. So, I’ve become that person who forces herself to step out in the mornings while on a trip.
The idea here is that being exposed to sunlight helps in fighting sleep and tiredness. Often, we are jet lagged and would want to sleep the whole day. But being outdoors signals to your body that it’s time to wake up, helping to minimize jet lag.
Don’t rely on supplements
Whenever the topic of being jet lagged comes up, I often hear people say they would take certain supplements to sleep if they can’t sleep at the right time at their destination city. While supplements can be good to improve health, they are some that are harmful and can do more damage to your internal body clock.
Instead of relying on supplements, engage in some of the points I have spoken about. Even when the tiredness hits at the run hours, try reading a book or watching a movie to stay active. You can even go on a light jog.
If you are to use any supplement, ensure that it is under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Being jet lagged is normal, and it happens to the best of us. Don’t beat yourself up about it when it happens. It is always best to keep in mind that jet lag is a natural response to crossing time zones.
One thing about the mind is that things tend to go south when we are agitated. None of the steps I’ve spoken about would work if you’re anxious and on the edge. So, be patient, and the jet lag feeling will wear off eventually.
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I am fashion and lifestyle blogger. My blog is where I share style tips, place to visit on budget and reviews of my fashion haul. I am an introvert and creative writing is where I express myself more.
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