Jet lag is an unfortunate but inevitable consequence of long-distance travel. It can leave you feeling groggy, exhausted, and out of sync with your environment. But don’t worry – with a little preparation, it is possible to survive an extended trip and arrive back home feeling refreshed and ready to get back to your routine.
In this article, we’ll explore the topic of jet lag in detail, discussing what it is, what causes it, and how you can make preparations before a long-distance flight and adjust to a new time zone afterward.
Keep reading to learn more about how to survive a jet lag!
What is Jet Lag?
Jet lag is a physiological condition experienced by travelers who cross several time zones. It occurs when the body’s circadian rhythms, which control our natural cycle of waking and sleeping, become out of sync with the new environment’s day-night cycles. As a result, people often feel tired during unusual hours and experience difficulty sleeping at night.
To adjust to this new environment, travelers must make conscious efforts to reset their bodies’ internal clocks; this is known as re-entrainment or resynchronization. This can be accomplished through simple lifestyle adjustments such as altering meal times and increasing exposure to natural light during the day; medications also exist that are designed to counter jet lag symptoms by reducing sleepiness and fatigue.
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What Causes Jet Lag?
Jet lag is a type of jet desynchronosis which occurs when our body’s biological clock is out of sync with the physical demands placed upon it due to travel across multiple times zones. This phenomenon disrupts our normal sleep cycle, leaving us feeling fatigued and disorientated.
The effect is believed to be caused by an internal timing error within the body, leading to an imbalance in hormone levels that regulate alertness and fatigue.
The intensity of jet lag depends on both the duration and direction of travel – eastbound flights, where you gain hours, tend to have a more noticeable effect than westbound journeys – while other factors such as duration of flight, anxiety levels and pre-existing health conditions can also affect its severity.
Consequently, those working in the aviation industry are particularly vulnerable to this condition as they often endure extended periods away from home and frequent long-distance flights.
Preparations to Make Before a Long-Distance Flight
Planning ahead for a lengthy flight can be essential for making a comfortable journey.
It is important to take into account all of the necessary preparations, including
- Ensuring relevant documents are valid and in order;
- Packing any medications or specific items the traveler might need;
- Researching baggage fees and restrictions;
- Arranging appropriate ground transportation services;
- Double-checking itineraries and gate numbers in advance;
- and creating a list of activities or entertainment to enjoy during the flight.
In addition, it can be beneficial to alert family members or friends of travel plans as well as confirm travel insurance coverage if applicable. These small steps can make all the difference when it comes time to embark on a long-distance trip.
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Tips for Dealing with Jet Lag After the Flight
Dealing with jet lag after a long flight is a daunting prospect, but there are several strategies to help alleviate the symptoms of this common travel ailment.
To begin with, travelers should ensure they get proper rest during their journey and drink plenty of liquids; avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these can have a dehydrating effect.
Once on the ground in the destination time zone, you should also adjust bedtimes and meal times to correspond with local customs by gradually shifting these times day-by-day to aid acclimation.
Furthermore, exposure to natural light early in the morning helps reset sleeping cycles – so it’s best for jet-lagged individuals to spend a few hours outdoors during daylight hours if possible.
Exercising after arriving at your destination is also recommended as it helps energize bodies which are processing numerous cues related to new environments; conversely, though, it’s advised that people avoid physically taxing activities later during their journey as this can over-exert muscles still under adjustment from departure time zones.
Finally, individuals looking for instant relief from jet lag can take partaking in relaxing activities such as mindfulness meditation or yoga. Both have been proven to reduce stress levels caused by prolonged travel.
Ways to Adjust Your Body’s Clock After Returning from a Trip
Jet lag is a common occurrence when returning from distant trips and often takes a toll on our bodies.
Fortunately, there are scientifically proven methods to help reset your biological clock so you can adjust more quickly.
- As said before, one helpful way to restore your body’s rhythm is by exposing yourself to natural light as soon as possible, ensuring the environment matches the level of daylight from your destination. This helps regulate our circadian rhythm and promotes quicker recovery.
- Additionally, eating a healthy diet loaded with antioxidants like fruits and vegetables will support sustainable energy levels throughout the day.
- Exercise whenever possible for further aid in resetting both physiological balance and mental clarity.
- Lastly, it’s important to keep sleep patterns consistent — going straight to bed shortly after arriving at a new place can be beneficial for decreasing jet lag-induced fatigue, allowing you to relish in all the joys of travel outside of its aftereffects!
Jetting off to a new destination is an exciting experience, but the effects of jet lag can make it hard to enjoy.
With our helpful tips on how to combat jet lag before and after your flight, you’ll be able to get back into your routine in no time!
From drinking plenty of water during the flight and adjusting your sleep schedule after returning home, these strategies are sure to help you adjust quickly and easily.
So go ahead—start planning that dream vacation!