You get off your flight and you’re groggy, irritable and have a splitting headache. That night, you may even have trouble falling asleep. This scenario is nothing to be alarmed about. You are probably experiencing symptoms of jet lag.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to travel to another continent to feel the effects of jet lag. Just traveling a couple of time zones can do the trick, and there’s mounting evidence that changes in cabin pressure and a plane’s low humidity level may also play a roll. Also, you’re more at risk of feeling jet lag if you’re flying east (think losing time).
Here are a few simple steps to help reduce the effects of jet lag or prevent it altogether.
Get Plenty of Sleep Before Your Flight
Jet lag is caused by disruptions to your circadian rhythms, which is a fancy term for the internal clock that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. It normally takes a day or two for your body to adjust, but you can help it along by getting a good night’s sleep beforehand. Changes to your normal sleep routine before your trip makes it harder for you to adjust afterward.
Regulate Bright Light Exposure
Light exposure is the prime influence over your body’s circadian rhythm. If you’re traveling east, getting as much light as possible in the morning can help you adjust to an earlier time zone. Conversely, exposing yourself to light in the evening when traveling west helps you adjust to a later time zone. Bonus tip: Try to adjust your light exposure with help of the sun, which provides some feel-good vitamin D.
Stay on Your New Schedule
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Set your watch to the time of your destination just as you’re taking off. Once you arrive, time your meals and bedtime appropriately.
Avoid or Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Your body functions best when it’s properly hydrated, and alcohol and caffeine are not the best ways to supply it with H2O. Also, alcohol at high altitude increases fatigue and caffeine may affect your ability to sleep.
We cannot express how important it is to stay hydrated while traveling. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight to counter the dryness of cabin air.
Are you ready to getaway without the worry of jet lag? Book your next vacation at allegiant.com.