Her Check-Up: Let’s Talk About… Coping With Jet Lag
Everyone loves a good holiday, or for some people, the chance to start out again in a different country, but one of the biggest drawbacks of those long-distance trips is the struggle of jet lag.
Jet lag occurs when people travel quickly over several time zones, causing their internal biological rhythm to be out of sync with their new destination time.
This can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns, causing exhaustion, as well as migraines and just put a dampener on your holiday in general.
Sleep problems tend to be more common when people travel from west to east, because it is more difficult to advance than to delay sleep time.
So how can you cope with jet lag?
The best method of coping with jet lag is adapting your body to the routine of your destination time zone as soon as possible.
Follow these top tips to help ease yourself into your new body habits for the trip:
- Try to gradually adjust your sleeping habits to the destination times zone for a few days before travelling. This will make adjusting to the new destination time easier if you can avoid breaking a sleeping pattern
- As soon as you board the flight, reset your watch for the new time zone
- While flying, control your sleeping, including naps. This will help you ease into your new patterns
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Dehydration makes it more difficult for the body to re-adjust itself to new rhythms
- Daylight can help reset your internal "clock." Take a one-hour walk as soon as you get up in the morning
- Avoid excessive caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco
- Limit your sleep to no more than two hours immediately after arrival and try practice good sleep habits while away
Travel and Sleep – How To Sleep Better When Away From Home
For some people, jet lag can cause sleeping patterns to be disrupted. For many people, sleeping in a new environment from what they’re used to can really disturb their sleep.
These tips may help re-adjust your sleeping in your new surroundings:
- Bring along your own pillow and/or blanket, which may help create a similar surrounding
- Check your room for potential sleep disturbances. These can be anything from light shining through the drapes, to a ticking clock or bright alarm clock. Bring along a sleep mask to block out any light.
- Request a room in the quietest section of the property and make sure that the room is away from any entrance areas or elevators. Use a fan or other "white noise" to cut down sounds of other visitors or street traffic
- Check your room's thermostat. Your sleep can be disrupted if the room is warmer than 23° C or colder than 12° C