03 Oct How to combat Jet Lag!
Any time you travel across time zones you may feel sleepy and sluggish. For most travellers Jet Lag is a temporary sleep disorder. It occurs when rapid travel changes your circadian rhythm. By regulating physiological processes the bodies “body clock” tells our bodies when to sleep, wake up and eat. Our body clock is affected by cues such as exposure to light and environmental effects such as sunlight and temperature. The circadian rhythm is disrupted when our sleeping and eating patterns suddenly change, such as when we travel distances across different time zones.
Tips to help fight Jet Lag
- Minimize sleep disruptions
If you are able to sleep on the plane, wearing an eye mask or earplugs will help to eliminate distractions.
- Do some exercise
A study of air travel in 2007 in the New England Journal of Medicine found pressurized air cabins lower oxygen in the blood making passengers feel uncomfortable and dehydrated. Try to move around the plane as much and as regularly as possible.
- Take short naps and give yourself time
In your new time zone try to take short naps to help you feel more alert and perform better. Take time to adjust to your new time zone as this might take up to at least 2 or 3 days.
- Change your time as soon as possible
Adapt to the time zone of your destination as soon as possible. For example if you will arrive in the morning, try to take a night flight where you will hopefully be able to sleep and arrive to start the day coinciding with your routine.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine
Try to limit alcohol and caffeine, or avoid alcohol altogether when travelling. These can disrupt sleep and cause dehydration.
This naturally secreted hormone helps regulate our circadian rhythms so that we sleep at night. This can be interrupted when travelling through various time zones so a melatonin supplement may be beneficial.