Here are some ways to avoid that traveling equivalent of a hangover that lasts longer than the alcohol-induced type.
One of the biggest headaches of traveling far is jet lag, commonly called Jet Lag. It’s the hangover’s equivalent of a hangover, with the main difference that you probably didn’t have fun having it, and the pain will last longer than the alcohol-induced type.
Why does jet lag still have so much power over us?
Well, for starters, fast time zone jumping is something our species has been doing for just a few decades, so few of us have fully adapted to this aspect that interrupts the body clock of the miracle of flight, and It can take a long time before someone does.
While jet lag is irritating and unnerving, keep in mind that it is simply the way the body tells us that we are away from home and that our rhythms are out of sync with local time. So how do you help bridge the gap and tame the disruptive effects of jet lag?
1. Let the sun in, strategically
Our circadian rhythms, also known as our internal clock, affect countless essential bodily functions, such as blood pressure, when we sleep, when we wake up, when hormones are released (such as melatonin), when we defecate, etc. So when we cross multiple time zones, our internal clock, which takes its cues from internal and external factors such as light, darkness, temperature, etc., needs time to adjust to the new location.
Research has shown that controlling light exposure before, during, and after flying can help speed up the process, but be aware that westbound travelers will adapt more quickly than eastbound, and more than 40 tends to be more affected due to age-related drops in melatonin level. On the other hand, jet lag seems to have less impact on regular athletes, so keep your exercise routine at home and away from it.
2. Change your schedule before you leave
A week or two before you leave, you may want to try your own biological clock change experiment by adjusting your bedtime and wake time for a few hours to begin closing the time zone gap. For example, if you are heading east from New York to Western Europe, try to move your bedtime forward and get up an hour or two over the course of several days before departure. If you head west and skip more than three time zones, you can try delaying bedtime and getting up.
For those who prefer a more rigorous approach or are crossing multiple time zones, you can check out Jet Lag Rooster, which generates personalized jet lag prevention plans step by step, as well as suggesting the best times for light exposure. brilliant according to your usual sleep times, flight duration, time of year and places of origin and destination.
Another option that many travelers prefer is the simple but austere Anti-Jet Lag Fast, which involves not eating at all for 12 to 16 hours before breakfast in the new time zone.
3. Practice self-care the week before your flight
It’s easier said than done, but try to start your journey in as relaxed a physical and mental state as possible. No matter how old you are, air travel is a physical stressor, so be gentle with your body during the week or so before departure. Get more rest, eat healthy and clean, get a massage, spend time in the sauna in the gym and increase your meditation practice to prepare the body for the challenges that lie ahead.
Maintain your regular exercise routine, but slow down a bit to avoid overloading the energy reserves that you should take advantage of when starting your trip.
4. Increase your nutrients along the way
One more reason to have a plant-centered diet: You can help avoid jet lag-related digestive problems, while low-fiber, high-carbohydrate meals tend to stress the digestive system, even more so when crossing multiple zones. hours. In the air, traditional comfort foods decrease your body’s ability to adapt by using valuable energy (which could be used elsewhere) to take care of the business of breaking down your food.
In other words, keep your food as simple and healthy as you do on the floor, with plenty of vegetables, good fats, and protein.
5. Walk, don’t stay in your seat
On long-haul flights, blood tends to pool, particularly in the legs and feet, increasing the likelihood of painful inflammation and, for some people, more serious health problems such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
The best drug-free way to keep problems at bay is to keep circulation moving, as getting up and walking frequently around the cabin, once an hour is a good rule of thumb. You can also help circulation by wearing clothing that is not restrictive or binding. The goal is to promote circulation, not cut it in the pass.
6. Complement your biological clock
Melatonin can be quite useful to reset the biological clock, as it is the hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycle. It is launched at night, when it is dark, which induces sleep. In supplement form, it can help travelers reset their body clocks a little faster.
Although everyone’s needs vary, generally a dose of 1 to 3 mg (taken for no more than two weeks at a time) is adequate, but talk to your doctor first as melatonin may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and medications. anticonvulsants.
7. Don’t try too hard
When you return home, be patient with your body and wait at least one day of recovery for each time zone crossed. In other words, don’t waste energy trying to fight it. Try to expose yourself to as much morning light as possible and return to your normal exercise routine to help reset and return your body clock to normal.
Having some jet lag is totally normal, and the good news is that it goes away. With each passing day you will feel more and more like you, so take things easy and enjoy the journey.