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8 tips to avoid Jet Lag

There are people who are afraid of flying. Others suffer a lot with… Jet Lag. But how do you avoid it? And how do you solve the situation to make the most of your vacation or work days?

8 tips to avoid Jet Lag
Margarida Gamboa
by Margarida Gamboa
Jet Lag is all related to circadian rhythm. Is this is your “biological clock”? Not exactly, but it’s related to. You find circadian rhythm in multiple biological beings, like fruits, fungi, animal or people. They are responsible for the physiological 24h cycle processes. In the most primitive way they respond to darkness and light, and that’s why you sleep at night and are awake by day. But it’s not only about sleep. It’s about the daily cycle, like feeding patterns or brain activity.

When you travel across time zones, your circadian rhythm remains in your original time zone for some days. So, how many of you want to enjoy your vacations or be 100% for work after travelling? We think… Everyone! In the next lines we present you some tips to avoid being too exhausted, disoriented, moody and even rude.

1. Caffeine and alcohol: your bad, bad friends

If you want to be awake for hours, plain of energy, caffeine could help. But it’s not the point here. Caffeine maintains you artificially awake and doesn’t help in the adaptation process. Alcohol could create a false sense of fatigue and make you feel sicker than you are. Before and in the plane try to avoid both.
Since in the destination, the best thing to do is to stay awake for long as you can when you arrive and just sleep when is time to. This makes the adaptation faster. In the extreme, if you need some caffeine there try a small quantity.

2. Change in anticipation

In the days before, try to adapt your body to the change going to bed progressively later (if you’re traveling west) or earlier (if you’re traveling east).
It’s not unusual that you bewilder the new place in the first night, regardless of the Jet Lag, so doing this can help with the adaptation.
If you do shifts in work, the adaptation to Jet Lag is easier because your body and brain is adapted to… Adaptation. Some advantages are good, right?

3. Arrive by day

When you buy your airline tickets try to choose flights that arrive by day in your destination. Usually, with the airport arrival and the trip to the hotel, your brain is really awake (even if you feel tired) and if you arrive by night it could be complicated to fall asleep immediately.

4. Set the clock

This is really, really easy but can help your brain: if your clock doesn’t do it automatically for you, adjust all your clocks for the current time zone.

5. Eat less

Drink a lot of water and don’t eat too much. Try small snacks in the flight and when you arrive to your destination follow the local eating schedule. Some studies prove that eating by the local schedule helps the circadian rhythms.

6. Pills and melatonin

For sure it’s not a surprise that we recommend you to avoid pills, unless you have a doctor’s prescription. And what about melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body by night or when it’s dark, to be more precise. It tells the body it’s time to sleep.
It’s not totally inadequate to take melatonin but you have to know the best way to do it. You should take the pills just at your destination, and when it’s sleeping time. If you do it wrong, the jet lag effects just get worse. If you can avoid it, that’s the best!

7. Light please!

Light is essential for jet lag recovery. But one more time, you have to do it at the right time. If you travel west, the better is to arrive in the late afternoon, if you go east do it in the morning. The ideal is to have natural light from the sun, but if not possible artificial lighting can help.

8. Move it!

If possible exercise your body! During the flight stretch your legs and when you arrive do short walks to “re-start”.

More tips to enjoy the trip? Take a look at our article on tips for not getting bored or tired when traveling by plane.

It’s time to schedule the next trip and enjoy it!
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