Everyone knows jetlag is something they’ll have to deal with when traveling across time zones. When I traveled to Italy and Greece, I spent my first few nights in Italy awake at 3:00 AM watching hilarious Italian cartoons that I couldn’t understand with my mom. Though hilarious, it was a lot less funny to be exhausted the next day for our wake-up calls.
So why do we get jet lag? Our bodies have an internal clock that known as the circadian rhythm that is your 24-hour physiological process of literally just being alive. While it is monitored internally, external factors like temperature and sunlight can have an effect. When you travel across time zones, the local time and your internal clock doesn’t match up. It makes you stay up late too late or wake up too early and can really impact your mood when you travel.
There are things you can do to beat jet lag before and after your trip to make sure you’re able to put sleep out of your mind.
How To Beat Jet Lag
- Early To Sleep, Early to Rise. When you’re flying east, be sure a few days prior to your flight you go to bed early and wake up early so you can start getting on the local time.
- Drink Up. Stay hydrated on your flight – drink plenty of water but try to avoid caffeine or alcohol on your flight.
- Work It Out. Being active regularly can help fight jet lag, but even on the plane you can help reduce the risk of jet lag by being active. Walk up and down the aisle and get up to stretch a few times.
- Take Something. Sleeping pills can really help get you on the right schedule. I am not a doctor and you should never take anything without considering the risks. But taking a sleeping pill on the flight or when you arrive to get on the right schedule can help.
- Light It Up. Sunlight can help signal to your body when it’s time to be awake. In the morning when you wake up in your new destination, resist the temptation to hit snooze and instead head outside with your coffee and take a walk around the block.
- Except, Skip The Blue Light. Avoid spending the night on Instagram or watching Netflix before you fall asleep. Blue light from electronics will only hinder your sleep and make jet lag worse. Grab a book instead before bed.
How do you beat jet lag?
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