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Getting jet lag is something that most travellers try to avoid. Not only does it have a negative impact on your holiday abroad, but it will just be generally frustrating when you have to wake up at odd hours or need to sleep in the middle of the day. So how do we prevent this?
When choosing a flight, try to arrive with an extra day to adjust to the different time zone. You should also try to choose a seat by the window so that you can lean against the side if you want to sleep as well as so you don’t get disturbed by other passengers who want to go to the restroom.
Try to gradually adjust your sleep schedule according to the time zone you will be travelling to. Adjusting it by one hour each day per time zone travelled should be fine. You should also try to go to sleep even earlier the night before travelling to make sure you are well-rested and can deal with the stresses that come with travelling more easily.
Something which a lot of people don’t think about when travelling is their eating schedule. Try to adjust this accordingly as well to let your body get used to a new eating pattern.
Try to remain healthy and take precautions so that you do not get sick for your trip. This includes refraining from drinking too much alcohol; you don’t want to fly with a hangover. Eat well and exercise so that your immune system is strong.
The more comfortable you are during the flight, the easier it will be to sleep. Wear comfortable clothes, bring earplugs, a sleeping mask, and a neck pillow to make sure your you aren’t interrupted, and you can sleep peacefully.
When you arrive at your destination, try to stick to your sleep schedule, no matter how excited you are to go do something or how tired you are when you arrive. Melatonin can also help you sleep if you need it and may even prevent jet lag symptoms.
When you arrive, if the sun is out, try to walk or stand in it for a while. This will give you a bit of energy and help your body determine the time of day and when you should be asleep vs. awake.
Being social with people at normal hours for the location you travel to will assist with the adaption to the time zone. Your brain and body will recognise that you are partaking in activities at specific times and may shorten your recovery time.
Although you can prevent jet lag, it may still happen. If it does, just know that it takes time to recover (sometimes a couple days). Once you have all your energy back, you will be glad that you rested and can enjoy every moment of your vacation much more.
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