Created by Lynn May Gosselin.
What is one thing that most every traveler complains about when it comes to overseas adventures? Jet lag.
It’s the curse of the international traveler and plagues almost everyone on the planet. While some of us may have an easier time than others adjusting to a new time zone or settling back in at home, not everyone gets off so easy. The human body, while fueled by an adventuresome spirit, was not built to travel at insanely fast speeds in the air over long distances. This kind of travel creates havoc for our poor bodies by affecting our circadian rhythm cycles. The affect on our bodies, the exhaustion, insomnia and more is what is commonly referred to as jet lag. While there is no foolproof cure for the traveler’s curse, we lay out some tips that might help.
Sleeping on the plane
While most people can easily crash out and go to sleep from the rumble of take off, it might not be advisable to sleep through your entire flight. Before you plan to get some shuteye, pay attention to what time it is at your destination. Then plan your sleep accordingly. For example, if it’s the middle of the afternoon in your arrival city, then perhaps sleeping for the duration of the flight might not put you in good stead to get a good night of sleep once you arrive. Consider whether you would actually be sleeping at the time of day that it is where you land. If it’s the middle of the night, then catch some shuteye so you can be bright eyed and bushy tailed when you land in the morning. A short catnap won’t hurt but longer sleep on a plane can set you up for nighttime disaster if you are not careful.
For those needing to get a decent amount of sleep in the sky, be sure you come prepared. With all the lights, sounds and service of air travel it is hard to get some decent shuteye. Make sure you travel with a sleep mask to block out light and earplugs or comfortable noise cancelling earphones that can block out all that extraneous noise on the flight. A neck pillow and your own blanket can make you more comfortable and be sure to dress in comfortable, layered clothing which will prepare you for the range of temperatures typical of any flight.
At your destination
Once you have arrived at your destination, no matter how tired you may be, it is important to try to get on the local time zone as quickly as possible. Be kind to your body, particularly after a long flight and rest, put your feet up or catch a quick nap but make sure that the rest you get once you arrive does not take away from getting a good night of sleep. As hard as it may be, try to stay awake until a reasonable bedtime in your new location. Hopefully, you can then get a full night of sleep and be fresh to go when the birds start chirping in the morning. Remember, nothing will work for everyone because we all have different needs when traveling and sleeping but if you follow these steps, chances are you won’t sleep away the majority of your vacation.