When we take a flight that makes us hop several time zones, we end up with circadian dysrhythmia, also known as jet lag. We have a natural rhythm to our bodies, that gets disrupted when we take those long flights. However, there are ways to combat it, if you plan for it in advance. Here are some techniques that you can adhere to that’ll help adjusting to the new time.
Try and land at daytime
Try to book a flight that lands during the day, since getting out into sunlight jump starts you much more quickly and helps reset your body clock.
Adjust the light exposure
Blocking out light is the best way to get some sleep on the plane. Whether your destination is several hours ahead or behind, wear a sleeping mask when you’re ready to snooze. When your brain senses darkness, it starts to produce melatonin naturally in the body.
Eat and drink right
Keep your meals light inside the aircraft, and eat only things that have some sort of nutritional value. Also, load up on water so that you don’t feel dehydrated and sluggish upon landing. If you land around morning or early afternoon, a jolt of caffeine can help you acclimatise. So can eating a meal at a standard time at your destination.
Sleep on it
It takes about one day for your body clock to adjust to a new time zone. There are 24 universally-recognised time zones, but the best way to gear up for it is by taking melatonin, which can help you doze off in the air or in a new time zone. Melatonin is available over the counter, but consult your health care provider before use.
Do some advance planning
Flying from west to east is associated with worse jet lag than the other way round. So, plan ahead and minimise your jet lag by adjusting your bed-time, light exposure, and caffeine intake a few days before your trip.