If you’ve ever had the chance to travel through various time zones, you would know how difficult it is to adjust sleep schedule after traveling. When you travel to a new destination, it is often a challenge to mentally and emotionally adjust to alien surroundings. Not surprisingly, a lot of us fall victims of circadian rhythm sleep disorder. If you’ve been through the trouble, you would know exactly how painful this can be. With symptoms lasting a long time, traveling can often become an unpleasant experience for many travelers.
Jet lag is the term most commonly used by travelers around the globe. What really goes on there? Let’s put this in simple words. You can’t function without your biological clock. From sleeping to eating, everything you take for granted is monitored by your internal clock. The body clock does its best in maintaining your sanity by giving you a good feel of what day and night is. Naturally, light plays a significant role in the adjustment of your body clock.
Once you travel to a new destination with a different time zone, the body clock feels alienated and often gets a hard time in adjusting to the strange surroundings. You experience that in the form of insomnia, inappropriate hunger times, stress and fatigue. There’s a good reason to look out for these symptoms if you wish to quickly adapt to the new destination.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to adjust your sleep schedule after traveling. Here are some tried and tested ways to deal with jet lag.
The damage is already done once you land at your destination realizing you’ve upset your sleep schedule. Before this happens on your next travels, prepare your mind before you begin your journey. Since you can’t do much about the changed time zone, you certainly have the power to alter your biological clock. Ideally a week before your travels are meant to begin, start practicing your eating and sleeping habits according to the new time zone. Changing your clocks to these times can also prove to be beneficial. Slowly yet surely, the mind and body will find it easy to adjust instead of staying in a shock for a couple of days.
Sleeping on an afternoon flight is no less of an ordeal. This is why it is best to choose overnight flights. Also it isn’t promised, but the likelihood of sleeping on an overnight flight is way more. So once the tummy is fed well at dinnertime, you can pass the time by sleeping the night away. Depending upon the time zones you’re crossing, you’re likely to arrive at your destination in the morning or afternoon.
This gives you a better chance to get rid of jet lag symptoms quickly because you can use the daytime to exhaust your mind and body.
Even if you’re not a tea or coffee lover, most travelers tend to kill time inflight or at the airport through excessive caffeine intake. This has a lot to do with many of your jet lag symptoms. Yes, caffeine can surely help you in staying up for a longer time. But once you eventually fall asleep, the quality can be adversely affected if you increase your intake of caffeine. Ideally, at least 12 hours before you’re meant to fly avoid taking caffeine in any form. The same goes for overeating. It seems tempting during a flight where there is nothing better to do, but avoid it at all times.
The problem is, most of us don’t feel thirsty while we’re traveling. You’ll have to consciously train your mind if you wish to maintain your sanity later. Ideally, one should aim at 8 ounces of water at each hour up in the air. Apart from water, carrying a lip balm and moisturizer is also beneficial.
Before you actually end up taking one, it’s mandatory to consult your doctor. This is because not every drug is meant for you and should be taken with great caution.
Melatonin would help you to effectively control when to go to sleep and wake up. It can even be effective if you take a limited dose of it in order to adjust sleep schedule after traveling.