For frequent travelers, jet lag can be their worst enemy. Besides fatigue and insomnia, a jet lag sufferer may experience a number of physical and emotional symptoms, including anxiety, headaches, difficulty concentrating, sweating, coordination problems, dizziness, and even memory loss. Some people also suffer heartbeat irregularities and increased susceptibility to illness. This affects travelers everywhere. We’ve got one question for you:
Do you think jet lag is preventable?
Our bodies are naturally programmed to carry out a sequence of functions throughout the day and a major change in time zones can be highly confusing for our system. Fatigue, indigestion, insomnia, loss of appetite and concentration issues are some of the consequences we suffer as a result, often disrupting our time overseas.
It can take your body’s internal clock several days to adjust to the time change. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to be proactive and avoid the disabling effects of jet lag, allowing you to enjoy your travels to the fullest. Here are our top seven.
1. Be flexible with your eating and sleeping schedules. If you try to stick to your old time zone, you will experience the worst jet lag. Instead, allow your body to adapt. You may even want to start adjusting your schedule before you travel to hamper the onset of jet lag symptoms.
If you live in New York, and you’re traveling to London for a week-long business trip try setting your schedule 5 hours forward the week before. For example, if you usually go to bed at midnight, instead hit the sack at 7 in the evening. Then rise early, 3 or 4 in the morning if possible. Getting your body adjusted preemptively might seem silly at first, but by the time you arrive in London you’ll be perfectly fine with the sleep schedule.
2. Get as much daylight as you can. Light is one of the main signals helping to regulate our internal clocks, which reset each day to match the sun. So go out and catch some rays and you’ll be feeling better in no time. The one exception would be traveling to places where daylight never ceases.
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3. Get some exercise to boost your endorphins. Your body will love you for it. Doing this at your home is different than when you are on the go, as your routine is severely disrupted. What you need is a workout plan that you can do anywhere, and keeping it short and simple will probably work out well for you. There are several routines out there you could take on, but we suggest the 12-Minute Travel Workout which you can see below
5. Choose overnight flights if possible. This is the best way to maintain your normal schedule and reset your internal clock. Depending on the length of the flight and the number of time zones you cross, you’ll arrive at your destination in the morning or afternoon and continue with your day with at least a couple of solid hours of sleep under your belt.
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6. Don’t stay up all night before you travel. You might think that if you don’t get any sleep, you will be exhausted and thus will be more likely to sleep restfully upon your arrival. But what will actually happen is that you’ll end up playing catch-up the entire trip and feel chronically under-rested as a result. So try to get a full night’s sleep before embarking on your journey.
To avoid insomnia, our previous tips like exposing yourself to sunshine and exercising are extremely useful. Other tips include avoiding bright screens before going to sleep, opting for a book instead, and cutting down on the caffeine and alcohol.
7. When you get on the plane, set your watch to your destination time zone. That way, you’ll start to get yourself psychologically aligned.
The worst thing to happen when you are feeling tired from a trip (because, in spite of your precautions, you might suffer insomnia and not sleep at all) is having your luggage lost. At LugLoc we were thinking of this type of experience when we created our product, and we recommend traveling with our luggage locator to prevent this. It works everywhere in the world and is very easy to use. Come and look for yourselves, you will surely be interested.