Embarking on an international trip is an exciting time. The stress of planning is done and the plane has taken off; time to sit back and relax. But several hours later while getting settled at the destination is when the effects of jet lag can take hold, making it difficult to enjoy the first few days of vacation.
A temporary sleep disorder, jet lag occurs when a person crosses two or more time zones in a short period of time, disrupting the body’s circadian rhythm. And, according to WebMD, the “the more time zones you cross, the more likely you are to be sleepy and sluggish—and the longer and more intense the symptoms are likely to be.” Vacation goers and frequent fliers will be relived to know there are ways to avoid jet lag in order to make the most of a trip. Here are six tips for minimizing the symptoms of this disorder.
1. Adjust Sleep Schedule Prior to Trip
Since the time you’ll go to bed at your destination will be quite different than what your body is typically used to, it can be beneficial to slowly adapt to the new schedule while still at home.
The Mayo Clinic recommends “going to bed one hour earlier each night for a few days before your departure,” if you’re flying east, or one hour later if you’re heading west. Additionally, the source suggests moving meal times closer to when you’d be eating at your destination to help the body adjust.