Jet lag can ruin a trip across the world. But with some tools and rules, you can beat jet lag and make the most of your trip. Here are 7 of the ways that I beat jet lag.
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What is Jet Lag?
When travelling across time zones, a person’s circadian rhythm (body clock) is tied to their original time zone. This is commonly referred to as “jet lag” though it shouldn’t be blamed on the jet.
If a person flies from the east coast of the United States to France, the time difference is +6 hours, meaning that when it’s noon in New York, it’s already 6 PM in Paris on the same day. Flights from the east coast of the US fly through the night hoping to help customers overcome the time difference. A flight from New York to Paris might depart at 9 pm and arrive at 10 AM the next day (7-hour flight and 6-hour time difference when flying east) but for the New Yorker, it feels like they arrived at (4 AM.)
The New Yorker will be tired when they wake-up/land and likely earlier in the day than they should. This of course works the same way in reverse upon a negative time change, which is why New Yorkers travelling to Los Angeles will find themselves up at 4 AM (7 AM in New York) and heading to bed very early by west coast standards (8 pm feels like 11 pm.)
The most challenging time zone adjustments for me are the east coast of the US to Southeast Asia whereby the clock is opposite, noon in New York is midnight of the next day in Bangkok, for example.
The effects of jet lag include general malaize, loss of concentration, and very inconvenient schedules. You’ll want to fall asleep at night in your home time zone. Some can only hope to minimize jet lag so if you’re able, sleep on the plane and utilize bright light when possible.
How to Beat It
There are some quick and easy tips to help anyone beat jet lag. Of all of these, number four is the most important to follow.
- Adjust your body clock before you leave (including setting your watch.)
- Adjust to your new local time zone when you’ve arrived.
- Unlimited coffee and caffeinated beverages on the first day.
- No naps! Stay awake all day.
- Don’t eat the food on the plane.
- Stay busy.
- Be just as diligent the second day.
If you find yourself struggling the easiest thing to ask yourself is this: According to the time right now where I am right now, should I be awake or asleep? We recommend avoiding sleeping pills as this can cause a break in your circadian rhythm. It’s important to adjust your body clock (internal clock) naturally.
Staying awake is a lot easier than falling asleep when your body wants to be alert. If you’re having trouble sleeping during these times make sure you have fully prepared for bed – change into sleepwear, avoid caffeine, make the room dark, don’t use your phone, consider watching something boring or try reading.
You can do it. We have faith in you.
If you’d like a more personalized approach to your next long-haul flight, contact one of our Concierges today!