Most people experience jet lag after traveling across time zones. Jet lag is a condition that arises from the disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm. Several symptoms characterize this condition, including sleeplessness, irritability, delayed response time, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, headache, difficulty concentrating, coordination, and sweating.
Significant time zone variation makes jet lag symptoms severe. While jet lag is a temporary condition, it can take a week to disappear. However, you can do certain things to cope with or prevent jet lag.
Some travelers use melatonin to deal with jet lag. Melatonin, a natural body hormone, is available in the form of over-the-counter supplements. Using melatonin can help in regulating the internal body clock or the circadian system.
Adjust to a New Schedule
If possible, try to adjust to a new schedule before traveling. For instance, you can wake up and sleep earlier than usual. That way, you can gradually work towards a different time zone. Alternatively, try adjusting with an hour once a week. Most experts don’t advise travelers to change their schedule by more than one hour every day.
Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
You can worsen your jet lag by consuming caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Instead, try to sleep after drinking water. Ideally, alcohol can give you insufficient or short sleep. It can also dehydrate your body, worsening your jet lag symptoms.
Ensure Your Comfort
Make sure that you’re comfortable when flying. For instance, wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing. Also, use headphones or earplugs to put the noise away. Try to avoid reading or working on the plane. Instead, try to get adequate sleep.
Try Bright Light Therapy
Many products offer bright light therapy, including lightboxes and visors. Bright artificial light can decrease sleepiness while improving reaction time. When used in the morning, this therapy can change the circadian rhythm.
If you experience jet lag after flying, try these tips to cope with or avoid the condition.