What Is Jet Lag And How To Beat It

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How many times have you stayed up in your bed switching from one position to another unable to fall asleep after a flight to a distant location? This is (and you probably already know) one of the most common sleep disorders called JET LAG. Experiencing jet lag can be the cause of unfortunate setbacks in your travel plans or and impediment to continue with your regular routine once you get back home.

Have you ever thought about the variety of symptoms that this phenomenon can cause in your body and mind?

You can experience troubles falling asleep or remaining asleep; if you traveled east, your body will tell you to stay awake, even though is late at night, and if you traveled west, your body will tell you to go to bed when it’s the middle of the afternoon. On the other hand, you may also suffer a lack of concentration, fatigue, headaches, and even indigestion or other digestive problems.

But, why does this happen?

There is something called “circadian rhythm” which is basically your biological clock or 24-hour internal clock that runs in the background of your brain and responds to light and darkness in the environment. This creates a cycle in which your body will feel sleepy at night and alert (active) during the day. Therefore, when you travel from one time zone to another, you will feel the symptoms of the jet lag due to the circadian rhythm being altered.

Now that you know what jet lag is and what causes it, don’t you want to know how to prevent the effects of this phenomenon?

It is actually not that difficult and the steps to take are very simple to follow. So, my 6 tips are:  

1. If you are traveling west, try to book flights that depart at night. This way you can sleep or take naps during the flight and arrive rested at your destination.

2. If you can’t get night flights, you should try to stay awake until 10pm local time which will allow you to rest and get used to the new time zone easier.

3. If you are traveling east, try to book flights that depart in the afternoon, and try to stay awake during the flight. This way you’ll arrive super tired, and since it will be night in your destination, you’ll be able to go to bed and fall asleep instantly.

4. Try to avoid the intake of alcohol and caffeine because they both act as a stimulant and prevent sleep. On the other hand, do drink plenty of water to keep hydrated before and during your flight.

5. You should go out and expose yourself to the sunlight because this activates and “resets”, so to speak, your biological clock/ circadian rhythms.

6. Avoid eating heavy meals which will make you feel more tired and stay restless. Choose berries, bananas, quinoa, turkey, or leafy greens instead.

Bonus: stay active during the flight by walking down the aisle and/or stretching.

Do you have any other tips for preventing jet lag? Let me know!

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One Comment

  1. Isadora Sitterly

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