If you would have seen my last travel plan, you would have believed I did my itinerary in Excel. Every single day had a ‘places to visit’ and ‘things to buy’ sitting on adjacent columns. And like most of the excel plans, my entire trip went haphazard, struggling to manage my daily agenda with jet lag.
Jet Lag: A condition caused by air travel through changing time zones and the resulting desynchronosis of the body clock and external time. Jet lag is marked by fatigue, insomnia, nausea, and irritability.
But you need not suffer the same on your next trip with these simple tips to avoid jetlag…
Fool your Body
When you are not traveling very long distances, you can usually avoid jet lag by sticking to your normal routine. Keep your watch set to your ‘home’ time and behave exactly like home. Eat, sleep, exercise… all as per your home time zone. Your body won’t even notice the time change when you do this, and it will readjust without any problems on the way back.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
I have tried this. Plan your trip so that you reach your destination in the evening. Have dinner and go off to sleep. It’s easy to get sleep when you are tired. And next morning after a good 7-8 hrs sleep, you are all set to begin your day.
If you can’t fall asleep right away, try to get into bed and close your eyes until you fall asleep. Old Indian technique of closing your eyes and taking deep breaths, while consciously keeping your mind off thoughts is very helpful in such situations and anytime you are having problem with your sleep.
Many times jet lag can be made worse with dehydration, while on your trip or on the aircraft. To combat this you’ll want to make sure that you drink plenty of fluids as you travel, especially —water and juices.
Alcohol can dehydrate the body so it should be avoided if you can. And if you are expected to drink at a function, just follow each glass with a chaser of water.
Arrive like a local. 2 days before you start your journey from your hometown, change your routine to destination time zone. All you need to do is set a watch to new time zone and go as per that. This way, you’ll arrive accustomed to the new time zone. And you will save precious time by not wasting a day sleeping.
By changing the routine that you are used to directly into the new hours, you can help offset jet lag before it even starts. Follow your new daylight and darkness hours to adjust your circadian rhythms.
We are talking about exercising, silly! One of the best ways to avoid jet lag is to do some form of exercise when you arrive at your destination. This can be as simple as a walk or a few calisthenics in your hotel room. A few jumping jacks to get your heart pumping or start touring the town.
When your body gets exercise, it can ‘bank’ upon the extra energy and help you adapt to changing light conditions.
Dig your travel kit
Find a good travel kits that includes oils that you can smell for energy as well as soothing oils for relaxation, like lavender. You can even try a massage at your hotel to help you get a good snore.