Travelling can be fun as you can go to different places and enjoy their beauty. But with its fascinating experience, you might need to face some worries, especially if you’re traveling to an area with an opposite time zone. Since the whole world has different time zones, you might have trouble adjusting to your destination’s regular hours as your body is still from your point of origin. When this happens, you’re experiencing jet lag.
Coping With Jet Lag
Jet lag is a situation wherein your body’s time clock is still at your original destination and is having difficulties adjusting to the time zone of your new destination. While it might seem insignificant, it can affect your body negatively, especially since you’re not waking and sleeping at the right time. Even if your body eventually adjusts to your new time zones, there’ll always be a quicker way to make that happen. To help you out, below are some ways to cope with jet lag:
Bring A Travel Pillow
One way to help yourself recover from jet lag is to ensure you get good quality sleep. While the hotel pillows can provide you with the cushioning you need, they might not be able to give you the best sleep quality, especially if you’re trying to sleep in a place with a completely different time zone. To help you get a good night’s sleep as you arrive or while you’re still in flight, you should consider bringing a cotton or buckwheat travel pillow to provide you with the right height and scent that can help you to drift asleep at night. You can take them with you during your flight, allowing you to take a quick nap while on the plane.
If you’re traveling with kids, you might also want to purchase their travel pillow so they can feel comfortable during and after their flight. You can check this video:
and see a great kid’s pillow that is perfect for traveling and can help recover from jet lag. However, if you’re not too comfortable sleeping on a buckwheat pillow, there will always be other sleeping options that can make you more comfortable.
Drink Sleep Aids
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t fall asleep at night. To help hack your body and let it drift to sleep as quickly as possible, you might want to consider drinking sleep aids and allowing yourself to fall fast asleep. A sleep aid contains a high dose of melatonin that signals your brain that it’s time to fall asleep. With a single pill, you can allow your body to slowly feel sleepy and put yourself to sleep within a few minutes to spare. It’ll be a great way to adjust to your new time zone and avoid jet lag.
While drinking sleep aids can be beneficial and convenient, they’re not the safest option, especially when taken in large doses. To be safe, using natural sleep aid would be a healthier option as you use natural ingredients instead of chemicals. Furthermore, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t take any kind of sleep aid for more than four weeks, as it might make your body dependent on them. Use the sleep aid as a guide to help your body adjust quickly, not something you consistently need to fall asleep.
Adjust Your Body Quickly
As soon as you arrive at your destination, you should immediately adjust your body to the new time zone. Even if you feel sleepy during the day, you should hold yourself and try to keep yourself awake as much as you can. While it might be difficult, it’ll help your body know that it’s not yet time to sleep and slowly adjust your body clock to your current time zone. You can try to keep yourself awake by exposing yourself to natural light and letting the sun signal to your brain that it’s morning and there’s no reason to fall asleep.
As nighttime comes, you should try to fall asleep as much as possible. Even if you’re not sleepy at all, you should lie on the bed and do your best to sleep. However, if you’re having a hard time drifting to sleep, there will always be plenty of ways you can make it happen. For some, listening to feel-good music helps them fall asleep faster. If this works well for you, try this out. You must do this immediately upon arrival to allow your body to adjust to the new time zone.
Create A Relaxing Sleep Environment
In light of the point above, if you’re having a hard time sleeping at night, especially since it’s still morning from your origin, you might want to try upgrading your sleep environment and making it as relaxing as possible. This way, you can motivate your body to drift to sleep and prevent your brain from fighting its alertness and giving in. It can also help to put you at peace as you’re utterly comfortable with your surroundings.
To create a relaxing sleep environment, you can begin by closing every light source right from your doors and windows. You can also play some white noise from a machine or your phone and allow the sound to soothe you. Aromatherapy can also help you fall asleep, as the soothing scent can signal your brain to be fully relaxed, thus allowing you to sleep better and faster at night. If you’re sensitive to light and sound, you could benefit from using eye masks and noise-canceling headphones and allowing the world to disappear.
Drink Caffeine Upon Arrival
If you arrive at your destination during the daytime, you should drink caffeine as soon as you arrive. This way, you can keep your body alert and high on caffeine, allowing you to be awake during the entire day. It can also help to give you the right boost and let your day be energized, rather than being too down as you’re too sleepy to get out.
When drinking caffeine, it’s best that you only consume it before lunchtime. Even if it can give you the right kick in the afternoon, you might have difficulties falling asleep when the night comes, thus further ruining your body clock.
Avoid Taking Naps
As soon as you land at your destination, it might be tempting to take a quick nap so that you can recover your energy and go on with the day. But if your body still thinks it’s nighttime, your quick nap could become a whole sleep, and you might not know it, which can delay your jet lag adjustment. Even if you try to wake yourself up by setting the alarm, you’ll only find yourself hitting the snooze button or turning it off so you can fully enjoy your sleep.
Upon arrival, you should keep moving and avoid taking quick naps, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that it’ll be quick. Of course, this can be slightly challenging as you’re fighting your body’s natural body clock, but the harder you fight it, the sooner it’ll be for your body to adjust.
Move Around During The Day
After arriving at your destination, you should keep moving during the day. You shouldn’t take a break to rest, but rather, leave your things in the hotel room, go on with your day, and explore the new city. This way, you can keep yourself moving and prevent your body from thinking that it needs sleep.
As you move around during the day, you can take a tour or even do light exercises to keep your entire body alert. It might be difficult, but that’ll help keep your body awake and prevent it from slowly getting tired and sleepy, which can force you to take a quick nap.
Do Relaxation Techniques At Night
As you try to fall asleep at night, you might catch yourself wide awake as you’re not in a relaxed or sleepy mood yet. To help you drift to sleep faster, you should consider doing some relaxation techniques right before hitting the hay. This way, you can be at peace and avoid your body clock getting in the way.
There are plenty of relaxation techniques you could try to help you fall asleep. You could begin with breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or giving yourself a warm bubble bath. If your destination has a bathtub, you might want to draw yourself a bath and use a relaxing scent to help you fully relax. As you submerge your body in the tub, let the aroma floating around the room, and the bath salts surround your body and make you feel fresh and relaxed.
How To Prevent Jet Lag
While there are plenty of ways to cope with jet lag, wouldn’t it be better if you could prevent it from happening in the first place? This way, you won’t have much of a hard time adjusting to the new time zone and allow yourself to enjoy your destination as if you hadn’t gone through a time zone shock. To help you out, listed below are some ways to prevent jet lag:
Slowly Prepare Sleep Hours Before The Trip
At least a week before your flight, it’ll be beneficial if you could slowly prepare your body by adjusting to your anticipated time zone by changing when you sleep and waking up during the entire week. You can make hourly adjustments day by day and allow yourself to be comfortable once you arrive at your destination. While this might be challenging, especially if you’re anticipating more than a six-hour time difference, it’ll still be a great way to help your body adjust and minimize jet lag.
Schedule Your Flight Well
Since you’re already anticipating a time difference between your origin and destination, it’ll be helpful if you could schedule your flight well. Ideally, you should book a flight that arrives at your destination during the daytime so you can allow yourself to go on during the day. This way, you can immediately go and travel and prevent yourself from drifting to sleep as plenty of activities lie ahead.
Try To Sleep During Your Flight
If you have booked a flight that arrives in the morning, you should try to sleep during your flight so you can get enough rest and allow your body to adjust to your new time zone as quickly as possible. To make it a lot easier, you should consider drinking a sleep aid so you can drift to sleep during your flight. With enough rest, you should be able to help your body adjust and prevent jet lag from happening.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Jet lag can worsen the effects of dehydration. Moreover, long trips can also help to develop dehydration, which can make your body feel uncomfortable as you arrive at your destination. To avoid any worse symptoms of jet lag, you should always keep yourself hydrated. You can begin by bringing an empty water bottle to pass through security and filling it with water. It will help give you a quick hydration boost at any time of the day. However, it might require you to make frequent trips to the bathroom for a short break, but if it can help to lessen the effects of jet lag, it’ll be worth it.
Avoid Caffeine Before And During Flight
If you savor the taste of caffeine, which helps keep you energized during the day, you might want to skip drinking a cup before and during your flight. While it might be tempting to have a single cup of coffee or tea to make you feel at ease, it might prevent you from falling asleep during your flight. Don’t worry, as you can always drink one once you arrive, given that you arrive early in the morning.
Stress makes it difficult for people to fall asleep at night as their minds are constantly thinking about the situation and looking for ways to control it. To help yourself sleep better, you should try to avoid stress at least a week before your flight. This way, you can keep your mind blank and avoid overthinking at night. It’ll be a great way to make peace of mind and help you adjust to your new time zone.
Coping with jet lag can be challenging as you need to adjust your body to a different time zone, which can take a few days to adjust fully. But of course, there would always be a quicker way to recover, such as taking sleep aids, using the right travel pillow, keeping your body moving, and drinking caffeine early in the morning. Moreover, it’d be extremely helpful if you could also look for ways to prevent the jet lag symptoms from getting worse or not have to experience them at all. With the proper preparation, you should be able to allow yourself to enjoy your trip and get around as quickly as possible.