We all know the struggle of waking up early for vacation, getting to the airport, surviving an excruciatingly long trip, and then finally arriving at the destination, mentally and physically exhausted. But now is not the time to rest! You want to explore the land, and make the most of your vacation. Don’t let your jetlag get in the way.
Here are some great tips to help you avoid and/or overcome the dreadful side effects of jetlag so your vacation doesn’t suffer:
Get A Head Start On The Time Change
A long trip overseas will cause you to have a big time difference to adjust to, you should start adjusting before your trip. Instead of wasting the valuable time you have on your vacation adjusting to the time, start the week before your trip. If the place you are traveling to is 7 hours ahead, set your alarm an hour earlier than you usually get up each morning during that week, and go to bed an hour earlier as well. By the end of the week, your sleep schedule will be cohesive with the one you would adopt on your trip, so it will be less of a change to experience, and you’ll have more energy when you arrive.
Adjust Your Watch, And Your Mindset
A flight that will take hours and will land you in another time zone, might not seem like a big deal, but it can still leave you jetlagged. A great way to help you mentally get accustomed to the time is by setting your watch to match that time zone once you get on the plane. That way, every time you look at your clock throughout the flight, you will think it is that time. Even though you will probably still remember the time difference, seeing the time will still help you accommodate. And if you take a nap on the flight, you may be able to fully trick your body into adjusting to the time of your watch.
Get Some Sun
If you are trying to avoid the effects of jetlag upon your arrival, you should find an activity to do outside in the sun. The sunlight will trick your body into being less tired, and can help to reverse the effects of jetlag. If you stay inside, you’ll be more tempted to sleep and throw off your schedule.
Take A Power Nap
Sometimes, a nap is simply unavoidable. No matter how hard we try to stay awake, the jetlag has made us so sleepy that the only remedy is a nap. If you must take a nap, make it a short one. A little cat nap lasting 30 minutes or less will help you catch a few precious minutes of shuteye, but it typically won’t cut into your nighttime routine. A longer nap will cause you to lose valuable vacation time, and throw off your sleep schedule. Keep it short and sweet, and be able to fall asleep later to get the 8 hours you deserve.
Control Your Sleep Pattern
It’s close to bed time, but all your traveling and the change in time zone has made it hard to fall asleep. To regulate your sleep pattern, it can be helpful to take a little melatonin to help you fall asleep and get accustomed to the new sleeping pattern. Melatonin can be found over the counter, and should only be taken with caution and moderation. About 5 mg is the recommended dose for jet lag. Take a little late in the afternoon to help you go to bed at a reasonable time and sleep through the night.
Plan Your Flight At The Right Time
If you want to avoid the nasty effects of jetlag altogether, you should just try to plan your flight at the right time. While many opt for early morning flights, if your get an overnight flight for a 8+ hour flight, you can get a full night’s sleep on the plane and wake up ready to go. It may not be the ideal place to sleep, but it is better than nothing. If your flight is not as long, a flight later in the afternoon might be best. Once you get to your destination, it’ll be right around your bed time (give or take a few hours), and you can go to sleep right away and wake up refreshed in the morning and ready to start your vacation on a positive note.