Minimize Jet Lag with These Tips, Tricks, and Body Hacks

Woman, fainted by the exhaustion of jet lag, in her hotel room.Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Traveling is a pleasure and games until the jet lag catches you. Here are our tips and techniques to help you overcome jet lag and stay in shape whether you're traveling for work or pleasure.

Before digging into our tips, let's talk about jet lag in general. Jet lag strikes you when you cross time zones and your poor body can not keep up. You arrive at your destination and the only thing you can think of is how long it will take you to reach your accommodation and go to bed right away. Your body is confused, its biorhythm is completely extinguished and you feel terribly bad. This is not the end of the world if you are here for an extended stay and can adapt slowly, but if it is a business trip or if you are there for a quick vacation, it is essential to be able to recover from the time difference as quickly as possible.

Preventive methods to supplements, from diet to activities, several tips and hacking can help you minimize jet lag. Read on for helpful tips for your next long-haul flight.

Before you go, do this

Our circadian rhythm, the sleep / wake cycle, is carefully controlled by several hormones that make us sleep at night and wake us up in the morning. It is a biologically choreographed routine that keeps our body systems in line with our daily activities. Any change in the schedule, our routines and, most importantly, our exposure to the sun and our perception of the length of the day can really hurt us. Due to the delicate nature of the system, it takes a few days for our body to adapt to a new time zone. Preparing for the big change is a way to fight the side effects.

Gradually change your sleep pattern in advance

According to the guidelines of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, starting to change your sleep schedule three days before departure can help you become familiar with the new day / night cycle and manage jet lag as a champion. Effective planning starts with considering the direction in which you will fly. Flying to the east can make your hormones believe that the day is getting longer, while flying to the west gives the impression that the day is much shortened. Therefore, act accordingly: if you take a flight eastbound, go to bed an hour earlier each night until departure, and if you take a flight in a westerly direction, stay an hour longer. It may be a small change, but it is certainly important.

Move your clock and routine to the new time zone

Getting to bed earlier or later is not enough for most of us. To increase your chances of minimizing jet lag as much as possible, set a clock at home or your watch on the new time zone and begin shifting your routine so that it matches the local time of your destination. If your schedule and lifestyle permit, do all the activities of daily living, such as eating, eating, reading and going out, depending on the daylight saving time. As with your sleep, a shift of one hour at a time can make all the difference.

Avoid dark sleeping conditions of blue light and hug.

To help you change your sleep schedule, it's important to understand the effect of light from your electronic devices, commonly known as "blue light," on your body. Blue spectrum stimulation and exposure to bright white-blue light early in the day helps us to wake up. Therefore, if you are trying to go to bed earlier than usual, or if you hope to ensure quality sleep every day, avoid spending time on your phone, tablet or laptop just before going to bed. .

However, if you wish, you can use the iOS "Night Shift" feature or the Android Twilight app to warm up your device's screen. You can also use the configuration of similar systems on your computer with the help of applications such as Flux or integrated solutions such as Night Light mode under Windows 10 or Night Shift under macOS. By setting your location and local time, the software adjusts your laptop's screen light according to the day / night cycle: it becomes softer and warmer at sunset and lights up in blue and clear at night. Sunrise. If you leave soon, you can use it as part of your time zone offset plan; If this is not the case, you can use it to help you follow a routine and sleep better.

Also, keep your room dark and reduce as much light as possible at bedtime. The darker the room, the faster you will fall asleep and the better the quality of your eyes.

Get help from Dedicated Jet Lag Tools

Dedicated planners, rejoice. Technology can now help you plan your anti-jetlag strategy more accurately. On the site Cock Jet LagYou insert all the details of your trip and your current routine, and this gives you a detailed plan to change things according to your preferences. The paid application is a more sophisticated option TimeshifterNot only does this help you plan the time zone change, but it also gives you some extra details such as when to take a nap and when to have a coffee.

Keep the defense against jet lag while traveling

Woman sleeping in an airplane with a blanket and an eye mask.kudla / Shutterstock

Whether you're a nervous traveler or you find all the exciting experience, flying disrupts your routine and can easily wreak havoc on your body. From bright lights to the ceiling to the foods you eat, it's important to know what's right for you, what to do, and when to do it. Here are some tips to consider when you are at an altitude of 30,000 feet.

Control your exposure to light

As at home, try to control the exposure to blue light during the flight to match the new time zone. If you having to sleepAvoid the entertainment center, your electronics, turn off the lights and wear an eye mask. If you have to stay awake, watch a movie, use your eReader or anything that can entertain you and requires light.

Time your food consumption

If your jet lag plan included a shift in your meals, it would not be too difficult for you. The flight service in planes usually consists of serving your meals according to the upcoming time zone, the breakfast before dawn and the dinner in the afternoon. However, meal content is just as important in adapting your body to the new local time. Foods rich in carbohydrates, such as rice, pasta and potatoes, can cause a feeling of drowsiness and fatigue, making it the ideal option in flight. If you are traveling west, consider eating protein-rich meals such as meat, fish and eggs, as your body will take longer to burn and keep you awake longer.

Watch out for your alcohol consumption

The free alcohol on a night flight is definitely the perfect way to relax and fall asleep. Unfortunately, however, at higher altitudes, the substance becomes much more powerful, causing significant dehydration and interrupted sleep in the form of increased snoring and sleep apnea. All of this greatly disrupts your circadian rhythm and makes your fight against jet lag even more difficult than it already is. Better to avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water instead.

Melatonin supplement

Melatonin is a hormone produced by your brain to indicate to the body that it is time to sleep. Taken in small doses, it can help you synchronize your biorhythm in the new time zone. While some people prefer to start taking the supplement a few days before the trip, others feel comfortable from the day of the flight and the next three or three days.

When you arrive, do this

If you are not prepared, you are struck by the harsh reality of jet lag: you are exhausted, you are hungry at strange times, your mood is ubiquitous and your bodily functions are related. the measures are far from stable. If you have a few days of preparation behind you, you should be able to handle the big change with greater ease and continue until you are fully adjusted to the new day / night cycle. Discover the following tips to keep your body away from fatigue and discover a new way of life after landing.

Time your meals

As we mentioned above, carbohydrates induce sleep. This is because they stimulate the production of serotonin, precursor of melatonin, thus inviting your body to sleep. Therefore, leave carbs for the moment of the evening. If you land in the morning, plan high-protein foods for lunch and enjoy healthy carbohydrates at dinner time. Avoid eating before bedtime to keep your insulin level stable and your circadian rhythm properly stimulated.

Drink caffeine at key times

Caffeine can help you realign your biorhythm at the local time if it is taken at the right time. If you land in the morning, spend your day savoring your cup of coffee as usual. If you arrive in the evening, stay in the water and wait until the next morning to get your hands on as much coffee as your heart wishes.

Enjoy the sun and fresh air

Just as you must avoid blue light before going to bed, you should enjoy the sun during the day to control your sleep / wake cycle. Wake up early and go out. Natural light will remind your body of the morning time and it should work accordingly, in addition to stimulating the production of vitamin D, which facilitates the release of well-being chemicals into your system and lowers your blood pressure . Take a walk and get some fresh air while you're there, and you're already making good progress to relax in your new temporary home.

Hit the showers

If you land in the morning and find it difficult to stay awake, or if you have trouble feeling ready to face the next day, take a cold shower. The difference in temperature will stimulate your bodily functions, stimulate circulation and bring more oxygen to your brain to make you feel more alert. If it is night and you do not seem to fall asleep, instead take a hot shower. Again, the difference in temperature between the hot bathroom and the cold room will take you directly to bed and put your brain to sleep for the rest of the night.

Planning is essential to minimize jet lag. Although the preparation does not cancel out all the side effects, it can speed up the recovery process and allow your system to function properly again in just a few days. Even small changes can help you a lot.

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