Tips & Tricks to Beat Jet Lag
Jet lag is the disruption of your body clock as you travel across different time zones. Although you visually adapt to new environments, your body lags behind in adjusting to the time difference. Your body “thinks” it’s few hours early or behind what your watch says. Till the time your internal clock syncs to local time, you feel groggy, tired, and grouchy!
Indications of jet lag include temporary insomnia, fatigue, irritability, and impaired concentration. Changed bathroom schedules can also lead to constipation or diarrhea. It’s bad enough when you’re traveling for fun but it’s absolutely draining if you’re traveling for work!
Jet lag is uncomfortable but it can be controlled. Taking care of a few things can significantly reduce your vacation or business travel discomfort. Here are a few tips.
- Eat a protein rich breakfast the day you must travel: eggs, almonds (dry fruits), sprouts, white meats, etc.
- Avoid or limit alcohol, soda and acidic fruits as they dehydrate the body.
- To stay hydrated, drink the usual 1.5-2 liters of water.
- Say no to caffeine in any form, at least 3 hours before your scheduled bedtime as they are “stimulants” that prevent sleep.
- Sunglasses and eye masks are a great way to manage light exposure.
- Have an intense workout the day before you travel.
- A good pumped up playlist over headphones never hurts during a long flight either.
All you have to worry about is essentially dawn and dusk. You can take your day and divide it into two sections: the day section where you try and get as much light as possible, and the night section where you should get as little light as possible.
For the most feared class of co-passengers- KIDS
- Feed them at the local mealtime of your destination and lean towards a heavier diet during the day.
- Keep your kids topped up on healthy snacks in addition to regular mealtimes on the plane and first few days after reaching.
- Adjust nap time of the kids as per the destination time-zone to accustom them faster.
- Expect around a week for kids and toddlers to adjust to the new time zone.
For babies and moms
- Breastfed babies may take a little longer to adjust as mom’s body is manufacturing milk on the home schedule and may need some time to adjust to the new schedule. Jet lag and dehydration from a long flight can also impact mom’s milk supply, so make sure she’s well hydrated.
- A time change won’t cause a permanent regression in baby’s nap schedule, so don’t stress yourself about it. Sleep training in general is a long, tiresome effort and a few setbacks are expected while the baby is teething, learning to walk or not feeling fully fit.
- Coming back to the home time zone is a more difficult transition for the baby as compared to the trip out. So try and gradually help the baby transition back.
- Post flight tips:
- Keep the new kids’ bedroom as dark as possible.
- Skip afternoon naps if possible.
- If you can’t skip them, then make sure they last somewhere in between 20-30 mins max.
- In morning, don’t let them stay in. Take them out in the sunlight.
Have an interesting story or best tips that have worked wonders for you in combating jet lag? Share them in the comments below.