Being jet lagged is so irritating and it often takes away the fun of meeting the kids after months. Only the elderly who have witnessed this irritability know about it. But most people talk about jet lag, without actually knowing about it. Read below to know more about it and what you can do to fight jet lag.
When you are flying across time zones, it is quite easy to forget that our bodies are not designed to travel long distances at high speed. Thus, people have to grapple with the biorhythmic confusion called as Jet Lag. Flying from India to the US, you switch your wristwatch ten to twelve hours backward. In this situation your body says, “Hey, what’s going on?” Body clocks can’t be reset by a simple wind. All your life you have done things as per 24-hour cycle and now after crossing the Atlantic, it is difficult to tell your body to eat when it wants to sleep and sleep when it wants to go for sightseeing.
Most people believe that only their first day will be rendered worthless by jet lag. But most elderly people who travel from India to the US, find it very difficult to overcome the jet lag for three to seven days. Same is the case with pregnant ladies and children who just can’t take the pressure of sitting for so many hours at a stretch. Jet lag is much more than just the inability to cope up with different time zones. Some other common symptoms of jet lag include:
- Digestion problem
- Impaired judgement
- General Malaise
It is important to know that traveling east and traveling west have different effects. A few experts term traveling to the east is a beast while traveling to the west is best. Wondering why? Traveling east results in worst jet lag as travelers have to try to stay awake when the body wants to sleep and sleep when the body wants to stay awake.
Now, that you know what is jet lag and what are its symptoms, now is the time to know how to overcome jet lag:
- Be well rested: Undoubtedly, flying halfway around the world is tiring and stressful. If you leave frazzled after a hectic last night worrying about the trip or packing the stuff, the possibility of you not being healthy and happy for the first part is bleak. Finish your work and packing at least 48 hours before you leave. You need to be mentally and physically well-rested to enjoy the bombardment of the senses that will follow.
- Try and sleep: It is very important to sleep on the flight so that you can be functional the day you land. In-flight movies and videos are good to soothe you to put you to sleep. But at times it might have a negative impact. The iPad, smartphones and laptop might delay the sleep as the blue-spectrum light emitted by them are quite activating.
- Avoid a cocktail: Most people believe that an in-flight cocktail will make it easier to sleep while it only results with fragmented sleep that will leave you feeling groggy when you walk. Also, remember at high altitude, alcohol dehydrates the body faster and destroys the sleep pattern.
- Stay hydrated: On the day of your flight, ensure that you drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration can worsen the jet lag. Keep drinking water, even though you don’t feel To keep the skin hydrated carry a bottle of moisturizing lotion, hydrating spray with essential oil and lip balm. Also, stay away from the caffeine drinks as they dehydrate your body and keep you awake for longer.
- See daylight upon arrival: After you have arrived at the destination, don’t stay in the house or room to get the needed rest. Instead, try and adjust to the time change and go outdoors, to get some fresh air, the sunshine, and exercise. After taking a stroll, try and stay awake till it is the right time to sleep. Slowly, you will get into the routine and fight jet lag.
- Use Melatonin: Melatonin, a hormone is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. The job of this hormone is to control the body’s circadian rhythm that is our, internal clock that plays a critical role body’s sleep-and-wake cycle. The level of Melatonin rises after the dark and begins to fall in the morning. A few studies show that melatonin helps in fighting the jet lag. To beat the jet lag, professionals suggest to take the melatonin after sunset, on the day you will travel. If you are traveling eastwards, it is suggested to take the melatonin in the evening around 6 or 7 pm. Before you take Melatonin, don’t forget to consult with the doctor.
- Superfoods: There are certain superfood items that help in fighting dehydration and uneasiness of jet lag. Excited to know about them? Lemons have a great property to fight dehydration and keep you fresh and healthy during the flight. So, don’t forget to take some fresh lime water. Next, the superfood that you must take is a banana, being rich in magnesium and potassium it is a great natural muscle relaxant. Next item on the list is cherries. Cherry is a rich source of melatonin, a hormone that resets the clock of the body. The other important source of melatonin is fresh ginger and Goji berries. A recent study by Swissotel, a luxury hotel chain suggests that munching on quinoa can provide you relief from digestive problems related to jet lag.
- Lavender oil: It is a proven sleep enhancer and is known to have mild sedative and sleep-inducing properties that help people look fresh the next day. Either put some drops of lavender oil on your pillow covers or put a few drops of the oil in the bath water. This essential oil will calm your body and induce sleep and help you put your body in the right sleep cycle.
Even though, there is no way to avoid Jet Lag altogether, you can surely minimize its effects. These six tips will help you overcome the jet lag and add to the fun and excitement of meeting your kids and grandkids on reaching to the US. Since, elders are not very accustomed to traveling so long, you have to make sure of making their travel as comfortable as possible and help them accustom to the new time zone.