I just returned from a weekend in New York. And while I had the most incredible trip, I am now dealing with the most terrible jet lag!
Constantly traveling across borders and time zones, I have over the years, come up with a few tips to help overcome jet lag. Here are 5 things to completely avoid during jet lag:
After exhausting travel hours with long layovers and uncomfortable flights, especially after days of being away from home, the urge to sleep is overwhelming. But avoid napping, at all costs. Try to stay awake till its actually bedtime (local time). Set your watch and alarms accordingly. The sooner you adjust to your local timezone, the better! Adjusting to the local time will make getting back to routine easier and/or make the rest of travel experience more enjoyable!
2. Staying Inside.
The more you stay indoors, the more likely you are to want to take a short nap. Studies show that natural light can help overcome jet lag because exposure to this light corrects circadian rhythm disruptions that may be caused by fast movement over multiple timezones. Avoid dim places like movie theaters and museums during your the first day of trip.
3. Binge Eating.
Avoid eating heavy (cheesy/greasy) meals like fries, pizza or cupcakes that tend to leave you in a food coma. Try eating light and fresh foods like healthy bowls, granola bars or fruits that make you feel awake! However, make sure to eat well. Hungry + Jet lagged is not a good combination! Make sure to eat frequently. Light meals at frequent intervals keeps you full and lets your body forget about regular meal times in your previous time zone.
4. Doing Anything Important.
Though this is often difficult, for business travelers or for anyone returning straight to work after a trip, if possible, you should try to give yourself a day to adjust into your new time zone. Your body and mind are tired from the long travel journey, and you are likely to be sleep deprived. So rest for a day before getting back to your hectic routine or doing anything important.
5. Driving Long Distances.
Sleep deprivation results in slow reaction time and low vigilance, increasing chances of an accident. Unfamiliar roads, during your travel, make driving when fatigue even more dangerous. Make sure to take some time off before hitting the road.
So I wrote this post to keep myself busy till it is night, here, in Antwerp! And I'm so glad its finally time to hit the sack! But do let me know if there is anything specific that you do to get over jet lag?
Till then, goodnight! :)