Traveling to and from your vacation destination is definitely one of the most stressful and irritating parts of the whole affair. Flights being delayed, cancelled or even your luggage getting lost can be pretty stressful, and it’s downright hellish when flights are packed, overheated, noisy. But the king of all traveling issues has to be jet lag; that dreaded fog that descends and makes you sleepy during the day, and wide awake at night. Well we have a few tips which might help you to avoid, or at least reduce the effects of jet lag.
Practice your new time zone
One of the most natural ways to get the best of jet lag is without a doubt to begin adjusting your sleep pattern ahead of your travel date. A week in advance should do, in fact a full week might not be needed. If you’re flying east you should go to bed a few hours earlier each night to accustom your body to the new time zone in advance, and if you’re flying west you should stay up a few hours later each night to prepare your mind and body. Keep in mind that this is most effective when you are going to be in your destination for more than a few days.
Lavender is a great, non-medicinal sleep aid which can be used in order to promote a more restful sleep. You can get this in essential oil, spray, or even dried pouch form; a little on or under your pillow can help you to fully recharge your batteries and avoid the need for midday napping.
Make a date with the sun
The sun is your best friend when it comes to beating the effects of jet lag, especially when flying west to east. The key is to start your vacation with a good, solid eight hours of sleep and an early rise followed by immediate light exposure. If the sun isn’t up turn on a bright lamp, but a walk in the sunshine is really the best thing for you. Resist napping, and if you’re flying east to west late afternoon sunshine can help you to reset, so long as you stay awake to your regular bedtime.
Melatonin is actually a naturally occurring product which helps to regulate your natural sleep-pattern, but can also be found in supplement form. Studies have found that the natural levels of melatonin in your body are low during the day and peak overnight. Some of these studies also found that melatonin can help to reduce jet lag if taken after dark on the night of your arrival and for a few days after. Check that this won’t impact any of your medications or natural sleep-cycle, however.
Prescription sleep medications
If you decide to resort to medication to combat jet lag then you must check with your doctor first (just to be on the safe side) and get advice on dosages. Also, you should keep in mind that it’s key to take the sleeping pills while travelling so you arrive refreshed and ready to face a full day in your new time-zone.