TRAVEL TIP: How to Combat Jet Lag on Your Next Vacation

TRAVEL TIP: How to Combat Jet Lag on Your Next Vacation

Your vacation has arrived!  You have been looking forward to this for months, and it is finally here.  After the long flight and excitement from check-in and exploring, it hits you, jet lag.

Jet lag threatens your well-deserved trip by zapping all your energy.  According to research, it typically takes your body one day per time zone to adjust to the time change.  If you’ve never felt jet lag, consider yourself lucky.

Some symptoms of jet lag are confusion or lack of awareness, extreme fatigue, headaches, and nausea.  Imagine dealing with that on the first couple days of vacation. But there is help; frequent travelers have some tips and tricks to keep them sharp when traveling.  Here are some of their best tips.

Start changing your habits in advance

Prepare for Time Zone Travel

If you are traveling to a different time zone, it is wise to start preparing in advance.  Our circadian rhythms help regulate when we sleep and when we are awake. Changing our sleep patterns abruptly will cause jet lag.

Our internal clock will slowly reset itself at about an hour a day, which is why we need roughly a day to acclimate to each time zone change.  Slight shifts to bedtime, meal times and waking up over the course of a week or so ahead of travel will make a huge difference.

Melatonin

If you are reading this because it’s a day before your flight and you don’t have time to reset your inner clock, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about Melatonin.  Melatonin is available over the counter, but like all medications, it is best to seek doctor approval before beginning. Melatonin taken in the evening helps to make you sleepy.

For instance, when I was checking out homes for sale in Phoenix, Az and then flying back to Washington, DC, I crossed multiple time zones and had a hard time getting to sleep the first couple nights.  Taking Melatonin helped me adjust to an earlier bedtime. It can save you from sleeping all day on the initial days of vacation.

Stay Hydrated

Next up on this list of how to combat jet lag is a little common sense. Although it can be tempting to have a preflight cocktail and in-flight cocktail, staying hydrated is one way to combat jet lag. It is common to have mild dehydration while flying, but when you pair alcohol on top of this, it can increase your chances for dehydration.  Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water before and during your flight.

If you do decide to have alcohol, make sure you are also drinking water to help you stay hydrated.  Dehydration can worsen the effects of jet lag.

Ever heard the saying East is a Beast, West is Best?  There is truth in this old saying. It is infinitely easy to travel east to an earlier time zone than it is to a later time zone.  No matter where your travels take you, make sure to try some of these tips to help you maximize your time on vacation. Safe travels!


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