Traveling is about traversing new and great places with the goal of discovering fun and exciting activities. Therefore, being in a state of unwellness is the last thing you'd want to experience.
This feeling is what most travelers encounter yet strive to avoid—jet lag.
Jet lag usually happens when traveling to places with more than a two-hour difference in time zones. Since our bodies operate on a standard circadian rhythm, journeying to distant locations may cause our functioning to fall out of sync.
As a result, jet lag disrupts your body clock, negatively affecting your eating patterns, focus, and overall well-being.
When you have jet lag, you may experience symptoms such as difficulty sleeping and waking up, fatigue, and reduced performance. In some cases, you may also encounter digestive problems, nausea, and anxiety.
The good news is you can avoid or reduce the effects of jet lag with these tips:
- Strategize your exposure to light.
Light plays a crucial role in influencing your adjustment to varying time zones. If you arrive during the daytime, it's advisable to seek sunlight exposure to combat fatigue and reduce the production of sleep hormones.
For a quicker adjustment, make an effort to align yourself with the local time and routine of your destination: Expose yourself to sunlight during the day and refrain from sleeping until the evening.
- Slowly adjust your body clock to the time at your destination.
Begin the process of adjusting your body clock two days before your flight. Readjusting from an eastward travel can be more challenging, as the body has less time to recover.
So, to overcome adjustment problems caused by jet lag, modify your sleeping time according to the time at your destination. This way, your body and its function will not misalign when you arrive.
- Set your clocks according to the local time at your destination.
Aligning your clocks with the local time at your destination enables you to automatically adapt to the country's time zone. By following their time even before and during your travel, you can gradually acclimate to your destination.
- Eat mindfully and drink more water during your travel.
Be mindful of your in-flight meals. Consider food that aligns with your desired wakefulness or sleepiness. For instance, opt for potatoes or noodles if you need to sleep, and choose protein-rich foods if you need to stay awake.
Furthermore, it is crucial to avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can disrupt your sleep. Instead, prioritize staying hydrated by drinking more water, which can make you feel more comfortable.
- Avoid taking sleeping pills.
While it might be tempting to take sleeping pills when struggling to adapt to your destination's time zone, it is not advisable. Doing so will only confine your body, and it is still better to adjust to the time naturally.
- Don’t change your body clock for short trips.
For short travels that involve frequent back-and-forth journeys, aim to remain unaffected by your destination's time and concentrate on your own watch.
For trips lasting only 2 to 3 days, there's no need to alter your sleeping schedule. You can just keep your usual circadian rhythm.
- Create your own plan in beating jet lag.
By incorporating the provided tips above, develop a personalized strategy to overcome jet lag challenges. Tailor your plan based on the direction of your flight, time zones crossed, travel activities, and the duration of your journey.
This approach allows you to familiarize yourself with key considerations, providing guidance not only for your current travel but also for your future flights.
For personalized advice on overcoming jet lag, you might want to consider using the British Airways Jet lag advisor to get advice on overcoming jet lag based on your flight details.
Experiencing jet lag can negatively affect the quality of your travel. Therefore, overcoming this challenge is just as important as your other travel plans.
Keep these tips in mind to reduce or avoid jet lag, and ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.
We hope this topic helps you create only great travel memories ahead!