Everybody loves a little travel to the other side of the world. Exploring new cultures, food, foreign languages, and exotic landscapes. But the further you travel by plane, the more likely you are going to have jet lag. But what is jet lag exactly and what can you do to prevent it? Here are 7 tips that will help you cope better.
What is Jet Lag?
Flying is fun, but jet lags are definitely not – if you ever had one, then you know what we are talking about. The scientific term for jet lag is desynchronosis and you could also call it flight fatigue. Generally speaking, it is a temporary disorder that causes insomnia, fatigue, and in some cases headaches, dizziness, lack of appetite, and other physical and mental symptoms.
Jet lag is a result of air travel across multiple time zones, for example on the way from Asia to Europe. It disrupts the internal circadian clock and can last for a few days to up to a week, depending on how prone you are to get it and how many time zones you cross. Frequent flyers learn how to deal with it, by simply following these 7 tips.
1. Adapt to your new schedule before your flight
Try to be ahead of a possible jet lag and adapt to the new time zone of your destination a few days prior to your flight. If you are flying from Thailand to Europe, try to go to bed earlier than you usually would. If your next destination is New Zealand, you should stay up a few hours longer. By the way, traveling east is always harder on you.
If you try to adapt to the new schedule you are going to have, your body and mind will have an easier time to catch up. Frequent flyers also know that it is smart to choose flights that arrive in the morning. The closer the time of arrival is to the time when you usually wake up, the better.
2. Wear an eye mask and earplugs on the plane
When you sleep on the plane, you should try to avoid all kinds of disturbances. Therefore, a sleep mask and earplugs are essential for a smooth journey and a good sleep. Some airlines give them to you for free, however, if you are not sure if they include this service, don’t forget to bring some. You can buy sleep masks and earplugs at most drug stores and lots of shops at the airports.
For more comfort, you should also think about purchasing a neck pillow. They help to prevent neck pain from sleeping in a sitting position. There are all kinds of different models, some even have integrated headphones or massage your neck. Usually, a simple comfortable neck pillow will do, so try to focus more on functionality.
3. Drink and stay hydrated
Make sure that you drink enough during your flight to stay hydrated. We are not talking about alcohol or sugary drinks, of course, but about water. The air inside a plane is usually very dry and deprives you of water. The result is dry, stretched skin, and general dehydration.
To avoid this you should drink enough water throughout the flight. Juices are also fine, but try to avoid caffeinated sugary drinks, coffee, black tea, and alcohol. Even though it is tempting to have a glass of red wine, because you think it makes you fall asleep quicker, the alcohol will dehydrate you. It will be a lot harder for you to adjust to the new time zone when you are dehydrated, so don’t forget to drink water regularly.