Aeroplanes have provided humanity with the ability to travel the globe at top speeds. But with this fantastic development, comes its own issues- something all seasoned travellers have come to dread- jet lag. But we have come up with a list of techniques to help combat jet lag and its exhausting side effects.
Zipping through different time zones in a few hours means our inner biological clock has some catching up to do. This internal clock, known as our Circadian Rhythm, dictates when we sleep and wake in a twenty-four-hour cycle.
It is this skipping through time zones that push our inner twenty-four-hour cycle off-kilter. For every timezone crossed, it can take up to a day for the body to adjust accordingly.
A new study has discovered that individuals can achieve a deeper and more restful level of sleep when the scent of a loved one is present. If you are sleeping away from a romantic partner, pack one of their worn shirts and sleep with it at night. It can subconsciously make you feel more secure and at ease which helps with sleep.
Psychologically speaking, setting your watch to the time zone you are heading to can help you adjust while in flight. Mentally preparing for the change in time zone can help brace the body and mind for effects.
The plane’s pressurized cabin is known to lower the amount of oxygen in the blood, causing dehydration in many passengers. By the time the plane lands at the destination, people are feeling the effects of dehydration as well as jet lag, doubling the strain placed on the body. Staying hydrated can help offset these adverse side effects, fueling better function of the body.
This also means avoiding caffeine and alcohol at night when you arrive. Both are stimulants that cause issues with sleeping, and can further dehydrate the body.
Melatonin is the sleep hormone that cycles through the body when it gets dark out. It signals to our brain that it is time to start the sleeping process. Some people take melatonin pills to stimulate this signal and sleep-inducing effect artificially.
It can take a few hours for the hormones to circulate and start the process, so take these melatonin pills a few hours before you are planning to sleep, not right when you get into bed.
So next time you are gearing up to travel, consider trying these tricks to combat jet lag and get the most out of your vacation!