A jet lag affects many people who have to make a long journey. Sin of the first day or even days of your vacation or business trip. But what is a jet lag, why do we suffer from this and what can we do to prevent or limit a jet lag?
More than 75% of the people who make a distant trip suffer from a jet lag. In the one, the consequences are harder than in the other. Many people have trouble falling asleep, others are waking up early. Fatigue, stomach ache, headache, concentration problems and a short wick are other common symptoms of a Jetlag.
What is a jet lag?
A jet lag is actually a disturbance of your sleep wake , or biological clock, caused by traveling through different time zones. Your body is used to a certain sleep-watching rhythm at home, and has to switch over and so get used to a completely different sleep wake-up rhythm at the destination. The more time zones we pass, or actually skip, the more we need to do sleep alertness to get used to it, and the more we usually experience the jet lag!
Women are more likely to suffer from a jet lag
Unfortunately for women, I have to say that women are (more) generally affected by jet lag than men. The elderly usually have a little easier.As we age, the impact of a jet lag also diminished! Other factors that affect the jet lag are your condition, and the space / ability you have to move during your journey.
Direction of the trip
Generally, we are more concerned with a Jetlag as traveling east and passing time zones. We will fly with time and this will make your actual (over) day shorter. When traveling in the western direction, so by the time, we experience longer during the day, which causes us to suffer from a jet lag. The recovery or adaptation time of an Eastern trip may take up to two times! When we only fly north or south, there is no jet lag at all because we do not pass any time zones!
13 Tips to prevent a jet lag
It’s hard to get rid of a jet lag, but there are many measures you can take to prevent jet lagging as much as possible! Below are a number of useful tips to help you. The anti-Jetlag tips are divided into three categories: Measures you can take at home to prepare for the trip, Tips for traveling, and tips that you can do at your destination!
1. Plan your arrival
If you have the option to plan the arrival of your trip in the afternoon or the beginning of the evening. Then you can get used to and have enough time to get a good night. Furthermore, you do not have to wait for a long time to wait until the evening falls and you can go to bed.
2. Go geared on travel
Make sure you travel well-equipped and avoid stress. Do not pack your bag at the last minute and make sure that you are at the airport with sufficient margin on time.
3. Adjust your sleep alert
The preparation actually starts already a few days in advance. It’s good to keep your sleep rhythm at home, adapting to local time at destination. When traveling east, do this by going to bed earlier and standing up earlier. Start a few days before leaving and work it up. Thus, when traveling to the west, this works the other way around and you will go to bed later.
4. Resize your watch
If you wear a watch, you can do the best for the trip already, aligning with the local time at destination. This way you can get used to the time there.
During the trip
5. Drink water
Dehydration is one of the main causes of a jet lag! So make sure you drink enough water while you travel.
6. Do not drink caffeine and alcohol
Avoid alcohol and caffeine drinks, although these are not very good for you when talking about drying out and sleeping. (Both hold moisture).And at high altitude, the effects of alcohol and caffeine are getting bigger!
7. Observe your diet
Eat light and not too much before and during the journey. Also, keep in mind that carbohydrates generally make you sleepy and keep you awake. Also try to go straight to the (eating) rhythm of destination by eating what’s on eating time at destination.
8. Adjust your sleep rhythm
Try to keep the sleep rhythm from the destination. Try to stay awake when it’s day and sleep when it’s night there. This is easier if you have already started adjusting your sleep alertness ( tip 3 ) a few days in advance. Furthermore, a sleeping mask and earbuds can do miracles.
9. Keep moving
Try to keep moving a little bit, for example, to walk for a while and stretch something.
10. Join the local rhythm
Apply to the local rhythm directly. Do not sleep during the day and try some activity. Go to bed at a normal time. If you arrive at night, turn on the alarm clock at a fairly reasonable time in the morning, even if you have a shorter night than normal.
11. Overcome your fatigue
Do not tolerate your fatigue and wait for sleep until the evening has fallen, go straight with the new rhythm.
12. Use light
Use the light and dark to your advantage. Light, and especially natural daylight, inhibits melatonin production by the body (sleep hormone that makes you tired). Therefore, provide enough light to delay your sleep when it is necessary to join the local rhythm. You can read more about the influence of daylight in the article “The Effect of Daylight on the Night’s Sleep” .
13. Consider recovery time
Give your body enough time to recover. As a rule of thumb, even your body needs a day’s hourly time difference. In the case of distant (eastward) travel, it is therefore advisable not to plan the first few days.
I want to be careful about the use of sleep , sleep medication and supplements. It seems that swallowing melatonin (sleep hormone that is also created by the body) can limit the effects of a jet lag. Other sleepers like, for example, valium will help you sleep well, I can say from experience, but are not completely without risk and are even advised by doctors. Sleeping agents can lead to the faster formation of blood clots, and for long periods of time, you will be more likely to suffer from airplane thrombosis. You may think that an hour or 8 consecutive sleep in sitting posture is not conducive to this.