Jet lag. MedicalNet.com defines it as “…a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms as a result of rapid air travel across time zones.” For me, jet lag manifests itself in three ways: daytime naps, random bursts of hyperactivity throughout the night, and binge watching sessions of shows on Netflix. It’s 4 a.m., and the day after a 16-hour flight. It would be inappropriate to do anything else.
Regardless, there are better ways to beat the dreaded jet lag than simply waiting it out. Here’s how:
1. Rest on the flight
Consider the time of your final destination and mentally prepare yourself for the arrival. On an extended flight, for example, try napping to reset your internal clock, instead of staying up to watch a movie.
2. Fight the lag!
Upon your arrival try to keep yourself busy in order to force your body to reconfigure itself. Instead of heading to bed early, plan a walk or exercise even (for the more ambitious). Jet leg hates fresh air and daylight, so be strong and stick it out.
3. Sleeping aids
Although you may not want to resort to pharmaceuticals, sleeping aids like Ambien can sometimes help cure jet lag. Just be wary of any side effects. Consult with your doctor beforehand and always follow directions!
4. Blue light therapy
Blue light technology is actually used by NASA to readjust astronauts’ bodies during space missions. It can help improve your mood and energy through the regulation of circadian rhythms – your body’s physical and mental changes that follow a 24-hour cycle.
5. Keep calm and carry on
Believe it or not, stress can often make your jet lag symptoms even worse. Remain calm and try to reduce problems by sorting out all your errands before, after and during your trip.
6. Water is your best friend
Dehydration, like stress, can also make it harder for travelers to overcome jet lag – so upon returning from a trip, stay away from caffeine or alcohol.
Stop complaining you party animal. It sure beats falling asleep on a stranger while on public transportation…trust me.