Whether you’re traveling for business, vacation, or an athletic competition, a big trip is usually cause for excitement. Unfortunately, problems can arise from the process of traveling. When long airplane flights are involved, jet lag is frequently encountered.
Jet lag is commonly associated with international plane travel, but it can arise on any flight that goes east or west across three or more time zones. Jet lag frequently causes sleep disruptions, which can throw your body’s internal clock out of sync with the day-night cycle at your destination.
Knowing how to prevent and recover from jet lag can help you maintain your sleep schedule and overall wellness during your travels, so you can make the most of your trip.
- What Is Jet Lag?
- What’s the Best Way To Reduce or Resolve Jet Lag?
- How do you get rid of jet lag fast?
- What is the most common treatment for jet lag?
- How long does jet lag take to recover?
- How long will jet lag last?
- How do pilots deal with jet lag?
- Is jet lag worse going east or west?
- Why is jet lag worse going east?
- Which direction is jet lag worse?
- Should you nap with jetlag?
- Why is jetlag worse west to east?
- How to Get Over Jet Lag: 8 Tips and Suggestions – Healthline
- How to Get Over Jet Lag: Tips, Suggestions, and Treatments
- 9 tips to reduce the feelings of jet lag | HealthPartners Blog
- How to Cope With Jet Lag – WebMD
- Conquering Jet Lag – Rick Steves Europe
- How to overcome jetlag: 10 tips that really work! – Off The Path
- How to get over jet lag: 10 tips – Medical News Today
- Jet Lag Remedies That Actually Work | Condé Nast Traveler
- Jet lag – NHS
What Is Jet Lag?
Jet lag is a disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm that occurs with plane travel across three or more time zones. Symptoms frequently include sleeping problems, daytime drowsiness, impaired mental or physical performance, general malaise, and gastrointestinal issues.
Not everyone is affected by jet lag. Trip itinerary and individual factors can affect the severity and duration of jet lag.
What’s the Best Way To Reduce or Resolve Jet Lag?
The key to getting over jet lag is to get your body’s circadian rhythm aligned with the sunrise and sunset schedule at your destination. Many steps can also be taken to minimize symptoms caused by jet lag.
Realigning Your Circadian Rhythm
Overcoming jet lag depends on getting your body’s 24-hour internal clock synchronized with the 24-hour day at your destination. However, the best way the achieve this varies, depending on factors specific to your trip:
- Whether you’re traveling east or west. (Eastward travel is associated with an increased likelihood of jetlag.
- The number of time zones crossed. (Crossing more than three time zones increases the likelihood of jetlag).
- Total travel time, including stop-overs
- Flight arrival time
- Length of your trip (including subsequent flights)
- Your normal sleep schedule
- Plans during your trip, including any scheduled obligations
Because of these variables, there’s no single remedy for jet lag. Instead, quickly overcoming jet lag typically requires a plan that involves light exposure and melatonin. Both are power influencers of the circadian rhythm and can help retrain your internal clock.
Proper timing is key to adjusting your circadian rhythm. In fact, light exposure and melatonin intake at the wrong time of the day can further desynchronize your circadian rhythm and exacerbate jet lag.
Even with a well-developed plan, you may still experience symptoms of jet lag. Every individual adjusts differently to a rapid time zone change, but working to reorient your circadian rhythm can reduce the chances that jet lag will negatively impact your trip.
Light, especially natural light, has the biggest influence on circadian rhythm. Light from the sun, even on a cloudy day, is a critical signal interpreted by the brain to regulate our internal clock.
Exposure to natural light at your destination speeds up the process of acclimating to the new time zone; however, you may not want to immediately rush outside. Depending on how far you’ve traveled and the time you land, it may be better to avoid light when you first arrive and then have extended light exposure earlier the next day.
Artificial light, including electronic devices, also affects circadian rhythm. For this reason, try to avoid artificial light during planned periods of darkness and sleep.
When natural light exposure isn’t an option, a high-powered lamp used for light therapy, also called a lightbox, can provide higher illuminance with a greater circadian effect.
The hormone melatonin is naturally made by the body. Melatonin production usually starts at night in the hours before your normal bedtime. Two key functions of melatonin are helping sleep initiation and regulating your circadian rhythm.
When your circadian rhythm is disrupted by jet lag, the timing of melatonin production can be thrown off. A number of studies have found that taking melatonin supplements at the right time may help realign your internal clock.
Melatonin is sold as an over-the-counter dietary supplement available without a prescription. Some prescription drugs also boost melatonin levels.
Most people can take melatonin without significant side effects, but in some people, it can cause grogginess or stomach problems and may have interactions with other medications. As with any drug or supplement, it’s best to consult with your doctor before taking melatonin.
Pre-Trip Adjustments to Your Sleep Schedule
For many travelers, the best way to get over jet lag is to take steps to prevent it.
You may achieve this by gradually shifting your circadian rhythm in the days leading up to the flight. Then, you’ll be more adjusted to the time zone at your destination when you arrive.
A revamped sleep schedule along with strategically timed light exposure and melatonin supplements can help adjust your circadian rhythm. These changes require careful coordination and may pose logistical challenges for many travelers. However, for people who prioritize optimal physical and mental performance after travel, such as athletes and business executives, the effort may be worth it.
Tools to Plan a Trip and Avoid Jet Lag
With so many factors to account for, planning to avoid jet lag can feel overwhelming. Several online resources and apps are can help you generate a tailored strategy to reduce jet lag based on the details of your trip.
You can also consult with your doctor, a sleep specialist, or a travel clinic for specific advice about overcoming jet lag given your travel plans and personal health history.
Minimizing Symptoms of Jet Lag
Although you can’t fully recover from jet lag until your circadian rhythm adjusts to the new time zone, you can take practical steps to minimize symptoms. Many of these tips also cut down on travel fatigue or the dehydration and exhaustion that can occur during long trips.
- Get solid sleep before your trip: Try to start off by getting plenty of uninterrupted sleep in the nights leading up to your flight.
- Bring helpful accessories: A sleep mask, earplugs, and comfortable clothes for sleep are examples of items that can decrease disruptions when sleeping in a new place.
- Avoid unnecessary stress: Being anxious can impede quality sleep and exacerbate symptoms of jet lag.
- Don’t over-schedule your first days: Anticipate some degree of jetlag symptoms and don’t overbook your first days at your destination. Budget enough time for sleep and keep buffers in your schedule in case you aren’t feeling well.
- Limit alcohol: Alcohol reduces the overall quality of your sleep. Therefore it’s best to cut out or limit alcohol both in-flight and after arriving.
- Don’t overdo caffeine: Caffeine can give boost alertness in the short-term, but use it in moderation. Too much caffeine can leave you jittery and may linger in your system, making it difficult to fall asleep.
- Stay hydrated: Airplane cabins can induce dehydration, so make sure to sip water before, during, and after the flight.
- Eat healthily: Stomach problems often arise from jet lag and extended plane travel, so opt for lighter meals made up mostly of fruits and vegetables to prevent gastrointestinal disturbances.
- Stretch on the plane: It’s important to stand up and move a few times to prevent muscle stiffness and reduce the risk of blood clots.
- Exercise: Exercise has beneficial effects on the mind and body, so make time to be physically active at your destination. While research is inconclusive, properly timed exercise may also help align your circadian rhythm.
Can Naps Help With Jet Lag?
A quick nap may help you overcome excess daytime sleepiness related to jet lag, but it’s important to be careful with naps. If you nap for too long or too late in the day, it may throw off your sleep schedule even more. Try to keep naps less than 30 minutes and nap at least eight or more hours before your planned bedtime.
Can Sleep Aids Help With Jet Lag?
Sleep aids other than melatonin, including both prescription sleeping pills and over-the-counter drugs, do not cure jet lag because they don’t realign your circadian rhythm. That said, if jet lag is causing sleep deprivation, a sleep aid may help address that symptom.
Most sleeping pills have a powerful effect that can make you feel out-of-sorts and groggy for longer than expected, including after you wake up. The risk of falls or accidents is often higher after taking sleep medications. Frequent use of sleep aids may also make it harder to recognize an ongoing case of jet lag.
Before taking any sleep aid, it’s best to consult your doctor. They can review the potential benefits and side effects and offer advice on how to safely take them, based on your specific travel plans.
How do you get rid of jet lag fast?
8 tips to get over it
- Adapt quickly to your new time zone. When you arrive at your destination, try to forget your old time zone as quickly as possible. …
- Manage sleep time. …
- Drink water. …
- Try light. …
- Drink a caffeinated beverage. …
- Keep your sleeping space comfortable. …
- Try melatonin. …
- Use medications.
What is the most common treatment for jet lag?
As a jet lag remedy and sleep aid, melatonin has been widely studied, and it’s now a commonly accepted part of effective jet lag treatment
How long does jet lag take to recover?
Many people who experience jet lag feel better a few days after arriving to their destination. For some people, it can take up to one week to feel fully back to themselves
How long will jet lag last?
Jet lag lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks8. In general, symptoms persist for 1-1.5 days per time zone crossed, but the duration of symptoms varies depending on the person and their trip details
How do pilots deal with jet lag?
Get out, walk around and take in some fresh air. Eat meals on the local schedule and go to bed on the local schedule. It should be easy to fall asleep the first night since you’ll so tired. But on the second night, it’s common to wake up in the very early morning hours and have trouble getting back to sleep.
Is jet lag worse going east or west?
Traveling several time zones to the east causes worse jet lag than flying the same number of time zones west, and although the precise mechanism isn’t known, it probably reflects the greater difficulty of advancing rather than delaying the body’s internal clock.
Why is jet lag worse going east?
A study published in 2016 crunched the numbers on why travelling east is worse for jet lag. In short, your body’s natural rhythm follows a 24.5-hour day, slightly longer than the standard 24-hour sun-up, sun-down rhythm. That means that if you’re travelling east over many timezones, you’ll ‘lose’ additional time.
Which direction is jet lag worse?
Jet lag symptoms usually occur within a day or two of travel if you’ve traveled across at least two time zones. Symptoms are likely to be worse or last longer the more time zones that you’ve crossed, especially if you travel in an easterly direction. It usually takes about a day to recover for each time zone crossed.
Should you nap with jetlag?
A quick nap may help you overcome excess daytime sleepiness related to jet lag, but it’s important to be careful with naps. If you nap for too long or too late in the day, it may throw off your sleep schedule even more.
Why is jetlag worse west to east?
Flying east or west makes a difference to jet lag
This is because travelling west ‘prolongs’ the body clock’s experience of its normal day-night cycle (the normal tendency of the body clock in most of us is slightly longer than 24 hours). Travelling eastwards, however, runs in direct opposition to the body clock.
How to Get Over Jet Lag: 8 Tips and Suggestions – Healthline
How to Get Over Jet Lag: 8 Tips and SuggestionsYes, jet lag happens when you alter your natural circadian rhythm because of travel to a new time zone. Your circadian rhythm is your internal clock that your body uses to manage sleep and wake times.Traveling disrupts the measures your body uses to manage its internal clock, such as daylight, your temperature, and your hormones.Some symptoms of jet lag include:headachefatigueinsomniadifficulty concentratingmood swingslack of appetitegastrointestinal conditions like constipation and diarrheaJet lag is worse as you travel from west to east — it may last longer than if you travel westbound.You may also be more susceptible to jet lag if you travel frequently and if you’re older.Jet lag is a very common occurrence, and there are several ways you can try to make the transition to a new time zone more quickly and with fewer symptoms. Remember that your body will eventually adjust to the new time zone, but if you’re on a quick trip or are required to be highly functional quickly after your flight, these tips may be useful.1. Adapt quickly to your new time zoneWhen you arrive at your destination, try to forget your old time zone as quickly as possible. Your technology will likely update clocks automatically, but if you have a manually set watch or travel clock, set those to the new time as soon as you depart. You’ll have trouble at your destination if you continue to eat and sleep according to the old time zone. Eat meals and go to bed according to the time at your destination.2. Manage sleep timeMake sure you sleep when it’s most appropriate to your new schedule. Your flight may be in the air during your destination’s nighttime, so try to log some sleep while airborne. A few things that’ll help you rest include:noise-canceling headphoneswhite noiseeye masksearplugscomfortable travel pillows and blanketsYou should also avoid the urge to nap when you arrive if it’s daytime. This can make it difficult to sleep later on.3. Drink waterLong-distance travel may cause dehydration, and you may even reduce water consumption during travel to avoid bathroom breaks. Think again about this choice. Proper hydration may help manage jet lag symptoms and travel fatigue.Carry an empty water bottle through airport security and fill it up once you’re in the terminal. You can also purchase water in the terminal or request it in-flight. Continue to drink plenty of water upon your arrival.4. Try lightJet lag interrupts your internal clock in part because your exposure to light changes when you travel and change time zones. Getting outside in the sunshine can wake up your body and reduce the release of melatonin hormones that make you sleepy.Exposing yourself to morning light will help if you need to wake up and function earlier when you travel east. Getting more light at night can be useful if you need to stay up later in your new time zone when you travel west.You can also use a special lamp to expose yourself to light. The types of lights that may help decrease your jet lag can be in the form of a lamp, a light box, or even headgear. You may find these types of lights also advertised for seasonal affective disorder.5. Drink a caffeinated beverageConsuming caffeine won’t cure jet lag, but it may be a tool to help you stay alert and focused during the daytime. One study found that 300 milligrams (mg) of slow-release caffeine enhanced alertness in those traveling eastbound.Coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and even chocolate contain caffeine. Be sure to keep in mind other substances in these drinks, such as sugar, before consuming them.Make sure to moderate or eliminate caffeine in…
How to Get Over Jet Lag: Tips, Suggestions, and Treatments
How To Get Over Jet Lag Whether you’re traveling for business, vacation, or an athletic competition, a big trip is usually cause for excitement. Unfortunately, problems can arise from the process of traveling. When long airplane flights are involved, jet lag is frequently encountered. Jet lag is commonly associated with international plane travel, but it can arise on any flight that goes east or west across three or more time zones. Jet lag frequently causes sleep disruptions, which can throw your body’s internal clock out of sync with the day-night cycle at your destination. Knowing how to prevent and recover from jet lag can help you maintain your sleep schedule and overall wellness during your travels, so you can make the most of your trip. What Is Jet Lag? Jet lag is a disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm that occurs with plane travel across three or more time zones. Symptoms frequently include sleeping problems, daytime drowsiness, impaired mental or physical performance, general malaise, and gastrointestinal issues. Jet lag can last from a few days to a few weeks. It tends to be worse when traveling east and when a greater number of time zones are crossed. Not everyone is affected by jet lag. Trip itinerary and individual factors can affect the severity and duration of jet lag. What’s the Best Way To Reduce or Resolve Jet Lag? The key to getting over jet lag is to get your body’s circadian rhythm aligned with the sunrise and sunset schedule at your destination. Many steps can also be taken to minimize symptoms caused by jet lag. Realigning Your Circadian Rhythm Overcoming jet lag depends on getting your body’s 24-hour internal clock synchronized with the 24-hour day at your destination. However, the best way the achieve this varies, depending on factors specific to your trip: Whether you’re traveling east or west. (Eastward travel is associated with an increased likelihood of jetlag. The number of time zones crossed. (Crossing more than three time zones increases the likelihood of jetlag). Total travel time, including stop-overs Flight arrival time Length of your trip (including subsequent flights) Your normal sleep schedule Plans during your trip, including any scheduled obligations Because of these variables, there’s no single remedy for jet lag. Instead, quickly overcoming jet lag typically requires a plan that involves light exposure and melatonin. Both are power influencers of the circadian rhythm and can help retrain your internal clock. Proper timing is key to adjusting your circadian rhythm. In fact, light exposure and melatonin intake at the wrong time of the day can further desynchronize your circadian rhythm and exacerbate jet lag. Even with a well-developed plan, you may still experience symptoms of jet lag. Every individual adjusts differently to a rapid time zone change, but working to reorient your circadian rhythm can reduce the chances that jet lag will negatively impact your trip. Light Exposure Light, especially natural light, has the biggest influence on circadian rhythm. Light from the sun, even on a cloudy day, is a critical signal interpreted by the brain to regulate our internal clock. Exposure to natural light at your destination speeds up the process of acclimating to the new time zone; however, you may not want to immediately rush outside. Depending on how far you’ve traveled and the time you land, it may be better to avoid light when you first arrive and then have extended light exposure earlier the next day. Artificial light, including electronic devices, also affects circadian rhythm. For this reason, try to avoid artificial light during planned periods of darkness and sleep. When natural light exposure isn’t an option, a high-powered lamp used for light therapy, also called a lightbox, can provide higher illuminance with a greater circadian effect. Melatonin The hormone melatonin…
9 tips to reduce the feelings of jet lag | HealthPartners Blog
9 tips to reduce the feelings of jet lag You’ve been counting down the days until your trip to the Mediterranean since you booked it months ago. You could barely sit still on the flight and seeing a new continent come into view spiked your adrenaline sky high. You rush excitedly off the plane, but as you start exploring the local sites, you begin to feel off. The local cuisine looks amazing, but your appetite isn’t there. It’s hard to concentrate and your coordination is off. You’re exhausted, cranky and just don’t feel well. When you try to sleep at night, you can’t. And during the day you are fighting to stay awake. You have jet lag. And while it’s temporary, jet lag is a legitimate sleep disorder. What’s going on in my body when I have jet lag? Within each 24-hour cycle, your body temperature, blood pressure, glucose and hormone levels go up and down. That’s run by your internal clock, which is linked to the light you take in through your eyes. Your internal clock can run faster or slower depending on how long you are exposed to light and darkness, and when you are exposed to each. Typically, the amount and timing of sunlight you take in from day to day is close to the same. Even though it varies seasonally, the change is gradual enough for your body to adjust. However, when you travel by airplane and quickly cross time zones, the change is dramatic. When you arrive in a new time zone, your body is still wired to the sun patterns from your home location. You’re getting light when your body is used to it being dark, and vice versa, and that disrupts your internal clock. If you are traveling east: It will probably be difficult to fall asleep at night. It will also take your body a little longer to adjust when you are traveling this way. The number of days you will be jet lagged will equal the number of time zones you cross. So you will be jet lagged about three days if you change three time zones to the east. If you are traveling west: You may wake up earlier than you actually want to. But it doesn’t take your body quite as long to adjust traveling this way. The number of days you will be jet lagged will be 2/3 the number of time zones you cross. So you will be jet lagged about two days if you change three time zones to the west. Is there anything I can do so I don’t get jet lag? You can’t entirely prevent jet lag. But you can reduce feeling its effects. Try out these tips: Start adjusting light exposure before your trip to decrease the length of time you will feel jet lagged. You can manipulate your body clock and ease into a new time zone as quickly as possible by controlling your exposure to light and darkness before travel. You can calculate the schedule adjustment that will work best for you and your trip. And you…
How to Cope With Jet Lag – WebMD
Jet Lag: How to CopeFor frequent fliers and international travelers, the symptoms of jet lag are all too familiar. Disturbed sleep, daytime fatigue, difficulty concentrating and functioning, and even stomach problems are a fact of life.Fortunately, while you may not be able to eliminate jet lag altogether if you’re traveling across multiple time zones, you can lessen its effects with some simple strategies. First, it helps to understand what jet lag is and what causes it. Then, WebMD offers 11 ways to cope with jet lag and still enjoy your travel. What Is Jet Lag?Jet lag can occur any time you travel quickly across two or more time zones. The more time zones you cross, the more likely you are to be sleepy and sluggish — and the longer and more intense the symptoms are likely to be.Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder, but not temporary enough for many travelers. If you’re flying from San Francisco to Rome for a 10-day trip, for example, it may take six to nine days to fully recover. That’s because it can take up to a day for each time zone crossed for your body to adjust to the local time. If you’re traveling east to west, from Rome to San Francisco, jet lag could last four to five days — about half the number of time zones crossed. Jet lag is generally worse when you “lose time” traveling west to east.If you’re an older adult, jet lag may hit you harder and recovery may take longer.What Causes Jet Lag?Jet lag happens because rapid travel throws off our circadian rhythm — the biological clock that helps control when we wake and fall asleep. “Cues such as light exposure, mealtimes, social engagement, and activities regulate our circadian rhythm,” says Allison T. Siebern, PhD, a fellow in the Insomnia and Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Stanford University Sleep Medicine Center. “When you cross time zones, it disrupts those, and your internal clock and the external time are desynchronized. Your body needs to get on the rhythm of the new time zone.”Other aspects of air travel can aggravate the problem. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 found that air cabins pressurized to 8,000 feet lower oxygen in the blood, making passengers feel uncomfortable and dehydrated. And people don’t move around as much as usual on an airplane. “These can increase symptoms of jet lag and further disrupt your circadian rhythm from re-synchronizing,” says Siebern.11 Tips for Dealing With Jet LagSome of these strategies may help prevent or ease jet lag:1. Simulate your new schedule before you leave.“If you’re traveling east, start moving your bedtime earlier,” says Avelino Verceles, MD, assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the school’s sleep medicine fellowship. “Shift it a half-hour earlier each night for several nights before you leave.”If you’re traveling west, do the opposite. You can also try moving your mealtimes closer to the time you’ll be taking them at your destination.2. Adapt to your new schedule while in flight.Change your watch when you get on the plane.“This is mostly psychological,” says Siebern, “but it helps you get into the mind-set of what you’ll be doing in the place where you’re going.”Try to sleep on the plane if it’s nighttime where you’re going or stay awake if it’s daytime — but don’t force it. “It can be difficult to force yourself to sleep and that can cause frustration, which can then prevent sleep,” says Siebern. “If that happens, just try to rest as much as possible.”3. Arrive early.If you need to be on top of your game for an event at your destination, try to arrive a few days early, so…
Conquering Jet Lag – Rick Steves Europe
Conquering Jet Lag By Rick Steves Anyone who flies through multiple time zones has to grapple with the biorhythmic confusion known as jet lag. Flying from the US to Europe, you switch your wristwatch six to nine hours forward. Your body says, “Hey, what’s going on?” Body clocks don’t reset so easily. All your life you’ve done things on a 24-hour cycle. Now, after crossing the Atlantic, your body wants to eat when you tell it to sleep and sleep when you tell it to enjoy a museum. Too many people assume their first day will be made worthless by jet lag. Don’t prematurely condemn yourself to zombiedom. Most people I’ve traveled with, of all ages, have enjoyed productive — even hyper — first days. You can’t avoid jet lag, but by following these tips you can minimize the symptoms. Leave home well rested. Flying halfway around the world is stressful. If you leave frazzled after a hectic last night and a wild bon-voyage party, there’s a good chance you won’t be healthy for the first part of your trip. An early-trip cold used to be a regular part of my vacation until I learned this very important trick: Plan from the start as if you’re leaving two days before you really are. Keep that last 48-hour period sacred (apart from your normal work schedule), even if it means being hectic before your false departure date. Then you have two orderly, peaceful days after you’ve packed so that you are physically ready to fly. Mentally, you’ll be comfortable about leaving home and starting this adventure. You’ll fly away well rested and 100 percent capable of enjoying the bombardment of your senses that will follow. Use the flight to rest and reset. In-flight movies are good for one thing — nap time. With a few hours of sleep during the transatlantic flight, you’ll be functional the day you land. When the pilot announces the European time, reset your mind along with your wristwatch. Don’t prolong jet lag by reminding yourself what time it is back home. Be in Europe. On arrival, stay awake until an early local bedtime. If you doze off at 4 p.m. and wake up at midnight, you’ve accomplished nothing. Plan a good walk until early evening. Jet lag hates fresh air, daylight, and exercise. Your body may beg for sleep, but stand firm: Refuse. Force your body’s transition to the local time. You’ll probably awaken very early on your first morning. Trying to sleep later is normally futile. Get out and enjoy a “pinch me, I’m in Europe” walk, as merchants set up in the marketplace and the town slowly comes to life. This may be the only sunrise you’ll see in Europe. Consider jet-lag cures. The last thing I want to do is promote a pharmaceutical, but I must admit that the sleep aid Ambien (generic name zolpidem) has become my friend in fighting jet lag. Managing a good seven hours of sleep a night in Europe (or after flying home) hastens my transition to local time. That way, I’m…
How to overcome jetlag: 10 tips that really work! – Off The Path
How to overcome jetlag: 10 tips that really work! You know that feeling don’t you? You step off the plane, full of excitement and anticipation after a long flight. And you’re smacked in the face with fatigue. You’ve gotten very little sleep and your body feels like it’s hung over. How nice it would be, you think, to settle yourself down into bed right about now. But it’s lunchtime in your new home – hello jet lag!When you travel and your time zone shifts more than two hours, especially going east, jet lag is often a constant companion. Moving around day and night really confuses your body’s biorhythm. The more time zones you cross, and the more stops you make, the worse it gets. The best thing to do when you know you’ll be traveling long distances is to have a half to full day period of time to adjust. This way you can start adapting your sleep-wake cycle, body temperature, blood pressure, digestion, and other bodily functions to the new time zone. Sebastian Canaves 7. July 2018 1. Prepare at home before departing If you know you’re prone to experiencing jetlag you should first get yourself ready at home before you even get close to an airplane. If you’re flying east especially you’ll feel jetlag systems worse than flying west. This is because flying west causes your body to think your day’s getting longer whereas going east makes it think the day is shorter.So the best plan of attack is to adapt your body’s rhythm a few days before departure. When you fly east, try to go to sleep a couple hours earlier than usual. If you’re going west stay awake one or two extra hours. You should also be getting up earlier, or getting up later, respectively. If you have really big problems with jetlag systems pay attention when you’re booking your flight: arriving in the morning tends to pose large problems with fatigue since the day drags on for a longer period of time. Comparatively, arriving in the afternoon or evening is a much better option since you only have to stay awake for a few hours, you can move around your new city a bit, have something to eat, and then head to bed! 2. Set your watch to the new time zoneYour transition to the new time zone should begin on the plane so you at least get yourself mentally prepared for the new rhythm. Once you’re on the plane, set your watch to the new destination’s local time and keep yourself awake if it’s still daytime there. Even if it’s light out at your destination, it may be difficult to stop yourself from falling asleep on the plane since the lights are usually dimmed. This can, however, work to your advantage if it’s nighttime in your destination, so you can sleep on the plane! 3. Customize your sleep-wake rhythmIt’s especially helpful to adapt your body’s rhythm in relation to the time you’re asleep and awake in the new location. So, for example, if you’re flying east you’ll want to go to sleep on the plane. So get on some cozy clothes, pick up any additional inflatable cushions you’d like and put in some earplugs to avoid being disturbed by the surrounding noise! If you accidentally don’t get very much sleep the night before departing then this can also help you out since you’ll be more tired and able to easily fall asleep on the plane.Tip: Once the boarding is complete look around and ask the steward or stewardess if there are any free seats or rows left. This may often be the case when the plane isn’t full. If you can relocate to a free row you’ll be able to lie down completely horizontal and have an easier time getting a few hours of sleep.When it comes to traveling west, you’ll want to make sure…
How to get over jet lag: 10 tips – Medical News Today
How to get over jet lag: 10 tipsJet lag can negatively affect both business and personal travel. However, there are a number of things a person can try to reduce the effects of jet lag. Traveling between time zones may interrupt a person’s circadian rhythm and make it difficult to adjust to the new time zone quickly. A person’s circadian rhythm is an internal clock that regulates biological functions in the body based on sleep and wake cycles. The symptoms and severity of jet lag often relate to the number of time zones a person passes through. A person may feel wide awake in the middle of the night, have trouble falling asleep, or become very tired in the middle of the afternoon.However, there are several things a person can do to help get over their jet lag symptoms. The following are some tips that may help.Share on PinterestDrinking water rather than alcohol or caffeine may help a person get over their jet lag symptoms.Both alcohol and caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns and make it hard to fall asleep. A person may wish to avoid both during the hours leading up to when they want to go to bed for the night in the new time zone. Specifically, the National Sleep Foundation recommend avoiding alcohol and caffeine for around 3–4 hours before bedtime.If possible, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine suggest slowly adjusting sleeping habits over the course of a few days or weeks before travel. In order to do this, a person would need to either stay up a couple of hours later than usual (when heading west) or go to bed earlier (when heading east). By slowly adjusting their sleeping schedule before travel, a person can help prevent jet lag.When traveling between time zones, a person should try to increase the amount of time they spend in the sun when they get to their destination. This can include going outside and opening window shades and blinds. However, a person should still practice safety while under direct sunlight, such as by applying sunscreen and wearing protective clothing.Looking at backlit screens — such as tablets, computers, TVs, and phones — can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend avoiding using these devices for 1.5 hours before trying to go to sleep. Doing so could also help a person get over jet lag faster, allowing them to fall asleep at a suitable time in their new time zone.The National Sleep Foundation suggest that if a person needs a nap, they should limit it to under 2 hours. They should try to take this nap in the early afternoon only.The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend melatonin supplementation to help a person fall asleep in their new time zone. Melatonin is a natural chemical made by a gland in the brain that helps the brain and body relax so a person can sleep. However, it is important to note that the World Health Organization (WHO) do…
Jet Lag Remedies That Actually Work | Condé Nast Traveler
Jet Lag Remedies That Actually WorkWe all know the feeling: You’ve flown halfway across the world and landed in an exciting new city, only to find yourself hopelessly jet lagged, trudging through your dream destination like a zombie. And while it’s not enough to stop us from traveling to far-flung destinations, jet lag can definitely get in the way of the experiences we work so hard to plan.The bad news? There’s no easy fix yet. But there are a few scientifically-proven jet lag remedies that can help you combat the fatigue and general unrest jet lag causes. We’ve gathered suggestions from doctors and health professionals with the research to back them up. Read on, take notes, and utilize these tips on your next international or cross-country trip, so you can skip the unplanned naps and spend more time on the ground.All products featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.Adapt to your new time zone before you depart“For every time zone change, it takes on average one day to adapt,” says Dr. Steven Brass, a California-based neurologist who specializes in sleep medicine. “Consider adapting your schedule to the destination several days before departure. It can be challenging, but if you know you’ll be three hours ahead, start three days before.” That means slightly shifting the time you go to bed, the time you wake up, and meal time, if possible.Add the time zone for your new destination to your phone’s clock so you can start living by it. (This also helps with keeping track of time in-flight.) Then, you can hit the ground already adjusted—or at least, more adjusted than you’d be otherwise—and spend less of the precious time you have to travel struggling to get on a new schedule. This is especially important on shorter international trips, Dr. Brass says, when you might have fewer days in your destination than needed to fully adjust.Stay hydratedBring your reusable water bottle along and hydrate constantly. “Flying and traveling overall dehydrate you, and when you are dehydrated you become cranky, tired, irritable, and hungrier,” says Amy Shapiro, a dietitian and the founder of Real Nutrition. “These are all symptoms of jet lag, and they become even more pronounced when you’re dehydrated. Drinking water before you travel, during travel, and when you arrive will also help you feel more energetic, sleep better, and eat less, all of which are things that assist with getting on the right time zone.”Move around in-flightGetting on the right time zone might require you to sleep in-flight—but you should still incorporate movement during waking hours as much as you can. “Stay active on your flight,” says Bianca Vesco, a New York City-based personal trainer. “The less you move, the less blood flow is going to happen, which will make you feel lethargic when you land.”Vesco suggests travelers do simple seated or standing stretches before boarding, and incorporate head and shoulder rolls in-flight. “Think about the smaller joints you can move around without disrupting the people around you, like your neck, wrists, and ankles,” says Vesco. “If you have room to do some seated twists, that’s an added bonus, but even with a little movement you’re going to feel better than the sedentary person next to you.”Use different strategies when you travel east versus westYou might have heard people talk about eastbound versus westbound travel—and though that framework can sound like something off an astrology chart, doctors argue there’s a scientific basis for treating those journeys differently. “The whole reasoning has to do with what causes jet lag in the first…
Jet lag – NHS
Jet lag Jet lag is when your normal sleep pattern is disturbed after a long flight. It usually improves within a few days as your body adjusts to the new time zone. Ways to reduce jet lagJet lag cannot be prevented, but there are things you can do to reduce its effects.Get plenty of rest before you travel. You could start going to bed and getting up earlier or later than usual (more like the time zone of the place you’re travelling to). During your flight Do drink plenty of water keep active by stretching and regularly walking around the cabin try to sleep if it’s night time at your destination use an eye mask and earplugs if they help you sleep Don’t do not drink too much caffeine or alcohol – they can make jet lag worse After you arrive Do change your sleep schedule to the new time zone as quickly as possible set an alarm to avoid oversleeping in the morning go outside during the day – natural light will help your body clock adjust Don’t do not sleep during the day – only sleep at night time Information: Short tripsIf your trip is short (2 to 3 days), try to eat and sleep at the times you would at home. There’s no treatment for jet lagMedicines are not usually needed for jet lag.Jet lag often improves after a few days as your body clock adjusts to the new time zone.Sleeping tablets may be helpful if you’re having problems sleeping (insomnia). But they can be addictive so should only be used for a short time and if symptoms are severe.Melatonin is a natural hormone released by the body in the evening to let your brain know it’s time to sleep.Melatonin tablets are not recommended for jet lag because there’s not enough evidence to show they work. Symptoms of jet lagThe main symptoms of jet lag are:difficulty sleeping at bedtime and waking up in the morningtiredness and exhaustiondifficulty staying awake during the daypoor sleep qualityconcentration and memory problemsJet lag can also sometimes cause dizziness, indigestion, nausea, constipation, changes in appetite and mild anxiety. Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020 Next review due: 03 August 2023