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7 Surprising Facts About Jet lag, And 11 Best Ways To Avoid It!
If you have ever traveled to another time zone, you’ve probably experienced jet lag. You were used to a certain time frame and had to adjust to a completely different one. You don’t actually have to travel to experience jet lag; you can have changes happen to your social schedule that could make your internal clock to shift out of what you are used to.
If you keep one schedule for the week and another for the weekend, it is considered social jet lag. Getting up early every day of the week and sleeping in on the weekend will definitely throw you off.
Jet lag occurs when your body is used to sleeping and eating at a certain time, and you travel to another area where those patterns are different. If you travel from one time zone to another or even across several, you may arrive at dinner time when you had dinner several hours ago. The same is true about sleeping. If you leave Florida at 11 p.m. and arrive in Hawaii at 5 p.m., you left at a time you might have gone to bed and arrived at dinner time.
There are the surprising truths about jet lag:
- It is not the result of too little sleep. Jet lag has little to do with being tired and has more to do with missing the regular time you go to bed. Other factors besides an alarm clock will throw you off, such as the way the lighting is when you arrive at your destination. If you expect it to be night time and the sun is shining, your internal clock is getting confused.
- There is not one specific sleeping pill that can treat jet lag. Check with your physician about a sleeping pill that will work for you. Do not add alcohol because you don’t think it is working. Take your prescription after the plane takes off — that way you have plenty of time for it to kick in.
- It doesn’t matter which direction you are going — you can still get jet lag. Some people think traveling from east to west is easier on your internal clock, but it really has little to do with whether or not you get jet lag.
- Taking a nap when you get to Europe from the U.S. won’t help fight jet lag. It has been suggested that when you know you are traveling to Europe, you practice setting your clock to European time the week before you leave so you can get used to the timing when you arrive. Succumbing to a nap when you get there will just throw you off.
- Drinking wine while on the plane will not help you sleep or alleviate jet lag . Having a glass or two of wine will not help you sleep, but it will dehydrate you, which you don’t want to have to deal with in the closed environment of a plane.
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There are the best 11 ways you can avoid jet lag:
1. Change the times you eat
It has been found that the best way to avoid jet lag is to change the time you eat breakfast to the time breakfast occurs at the place that you are traveling to. This way you will already be used to eating at that time.
2. Prepare ahead of time
Make sure that you get enough sleep so you are not tired when you are traveling. Go to bed earlier or later depending on where you are going.
3. Eat pineapple
Pineapples have a number of health benefits, and containing melatonin is one of them. Melatonin is a substance that helps to regulate your sleep and also helps you to fall asleep if you are having trouble doing so.
4. Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine
Avoiding these two products is recommended because they only add to confusing your body clock and making it more difficult to get back to your normal schedule.
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5. Use lavender oil
Essential oils can be helpful for a number of things, and lavender oil has been recognized for its ability to relax you and help you get a comfortable sleep.
6. Drink plenty of fluids
If you are already suffering from jet lag, the last thing you want to add to it is dehydration. Keep yourself hydrated while traveling as well as when you get to your destination.
7. Get your attitude together
One suggestion to trick your mind is to set your watch to the time that it is where you are traveling. This way when you arrive you don’t have to change your watch, so your mind thinks that you are already adjusted to the new time zone.
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8. Stay away from sleeping pills or antidepressants
Popping either of these two medications after you arrive at your destination will make it harder to recover from jet lag. Try to fall asleep naturally or try other tips that are listed here.
9. Eat lighter meals
When you eat lighter meals, and skip the idea of a heavy dinner, you can trick your mind into avoiding jet lag. Eat the heavier meal when you arrive at your destination.
10. Keep your naps to a minimum
Try to hold off your naps so that you can get to bed at a regular time. If you have to crash as soon as you arrive, you may confuse you waking and sleeping times even more.
READ ALSO: Living And Eating Healthy: Myths Vs. Facts!
11. Try to catch a nap on the plane
If you have to take a nap, it is best to try to catch a nap while on the plane, especially if you are traveling a great distance. Sleeping on the plane will leave you feeling refreshed when you land in another time zone.