Is it really that hard getting over Jetlag?
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to Jetlag, I am the opposite of most people.
I hear it’s worse for some going East – as you’re waking up late, and seem to be late for everything, than it is going West – where you’re early for everything.
For me, it’s the opposite. Going home to KL (which is usually East of UK or USA) is easier than going west. I find it easier to adjust once I get home, to the sunshine.
What is Jetlag?
Jet lag, or ‘circadian dysrhythmia’, is the disruption of our body’s 24-hour cycle caused by travelling across a number of times zones. It means our internal body clock is knocked out of sync with the destination time. Symptoms include feeling dizzy, flu-ish with headaches and runny nose and the overall inability to function properly.
Whatever it is, here are some tips to help you with getting over Jetlag faster :
1. Get in shape
Before the flight it is good to always maintain an active life style. If you are fit, the long journey sitting on the plane will not be as detrimental to your health. Also, you can bounce back faster once you arrive at your destination. If you are flying west, prepare your body by sleeping later and later each night by 2 hours.
2. Adjusting your clock
As soon as you get on the plane, set your watch to the destination time. This will give you a few hours extra to adjust. Drink lots of fluids on board as cabin air conditioning can cause dehydration, worsening the effects of jet lag. Sleep only when your clock tells you it is night in your destination country.
3. Eat & Drink moderately
Eat moderately when in the air. If you arrive hungry, it’s easier to get into your destination’s circadian rhythm. Whatever meal the locals are eating, you can join in with gusto and more quickly reset your body’s natural internal clock. Alcohol can help you sleep but it also dehydrates. Just one glass will suffice and keep drinking juices and water throughout your flight to keep hydrated.
Once you get to your destination, the best way to get to sleep is to wear your body out. Go for a run, or walk all day if you can – this will exhaust you by the evening and prepare you for some good sleep. Expose yourself to bright light during daytime and cut out all light in the night before sleep. This helps reset circadian rhythm. Natural yoghurt will help your digestion, especially if you didn’t eat on the flight, and eating carbohydrates will give you energy, helping you stay awake during the day. If you must catch up on sleep during the day, cat nap for half an hour. More than an hour and your body clock goes back to home time.
Melatonin tablets helps for some, but it doesn’t work for me. In fact it makes me feel more zonked out. Melatonin is banned in certain countries like Malaysia, but you can get it in the States.