Crossing over multiple time zones can really leave your body in a funk. Unfortunately, if you don’t fight off the jet lag quickly, you could be missing out on the joy of your vacation. Here are a few tips to help you combat jet lag before it takes control of your day.
Get Plenty of Sleep Before You Fly
The number one reason for jet lag is that your body can’t tell if it is supposed to sleep or wake. If you get a good night’s rest ahead of your flight and plan on arriving at your destination during daytime hours, you should be able to adjust your schedule to fall asleep at a normal time. It is much easier to keep yourself awake for an extra hour or two than it is to force yourself to fall asleep when you aren’t tired.
Watch What You Eat…And Drink
Jet lag can really wreak havoc on your appetite. Make sure you eat well before or during your flight if it is very long. Don’t drink too much coffee or alcohol which could leave your body even more confused when you land. Also be careful about any sedatives or sleeping pills you take to help you get through the flight. It’s best to eat healthily and let your body adjust naturally. Staying hydrating and eating fresh foods will give you the energy you need to fend off the jet lag symptoms.
Plan for an Easy Day
The day you arrive at your destination should be an easy day. Don’t overdo it by filling every spare second. Instead, plan on hanging out at the hotel, eating a good meal and maybe some light exploring of the area. This will give your body the recovery time it needs to settle in without causing more stress. The older you are, the more recovery time you are likely to need. Be realistic about your expectations for the first couple days.
Remember, jet lag affects everyone differently. The effects can change drastically as you age, and depending on whether you are jumping forward or backward in time. Whatever your destination is, just be prepared to deal with it when you arrive by adjusting your sleep schedule, eating healthy, and taking an extra day to get acclimated before you take on a major hiking trip or outing. Don’t overload your body with caffeine or alcohol and you should be able to adjust naturally in less time.