Last Updated on June 13, 2021
Imagine the scenario, you have finally arrived at your final destination after a long flight and couldn’t wait to have some rest, or, in case of visiting a new destination – to have some fun and a little bit of sightseeing. Alas! You either cannot fall asleep, not even for a power nap, which results in you feeling exhausted, stressed and desperate, or, on the other hand, you cannot help yourself staying awake, thus missing everything you planned and again feeling stressed and desperate.
You are suffering from something called jet lag and it is a pretty common and normal thing after long flights as your body fights to preserve familiarized behavior and metabolic routine.
All you need to do in this situation is to help it as much as possible by following some of the next strategies.
Slice it Up
The best strategy possible would be to prevent jet lag, if anyhow possible. You can do that by dividing your travel into a couple of shorter ones and allow your body to adapt to these lighter changes in routine.
Alongside the obvious benefit of stopovers, there are others, as well. You can enrich your traveling by having a one-day, by visiting more locations, which has also become possible now, with the lifting of covid-19 restrictions, in more and more countries.
On the other hand, reducing the long journey may benefit in reducing the price in general. Air companies tend to offer shorter flights for shorter bucks, as it benefits them, and, at the end of the line, you.
Think about it. Your metabolic system is functioning as any system out there, which means it works under some rules, by some hours and means, and if you only pay attention to it, you will notice a pattern. Thus, knowing your sleep schedule back home, you will be able to deceive it or make it accustomed to the new time, slowly and moving the schedule just a little bit every sleeping cycle.
This will be easier if you have a certain telling which will make a new routine (or go back to the previous one if you’ll be stationary at home again) and maintain the body’s internal clock that makes falling asleep and waking up easy. And there are some practical ways, indeed.
With Puffy’s help with your sleep schedule, in particular, you can calculate the best time to go to sleep and to set the alarm to, as it is estimated based on your preferable sleep habit, or to say – it gives you the sleeping time based on your metabolism and other factors. And these calculators don’t help with beating off jet lags but may help you to follow your sleep cycles and maybe learn about a more expedient sleeping routine according to your lifestyle.
If by any chance, you managed to arrive at a new destination during the daytime – great, as it will be easier for you to stay awake and you will naturally want to go out, sightseeing and the excitement itself of arrival will keep you up and ready for a good night’s sleep when it arrives.
The next morning, try and treat yourself to a hearty meal, full of protein and antioxidants, as this gives you fuel and a shield in holding back the fatigue and sleepiness.
Even better if you get yourself involved in some exercising, as being active, more oxidized, and boosting your blood flow, helps you to stay focused, toned, and not sleepy at all. You can even try some of the light exercises during the flight. Even a simple stretching will bring in more oxygen and endorphins.
Try to stay away from alcohol, heavy and salty foods, and, more importantly, keep away from caffeine-heavy beverages such as coffee and energy drinks. These temporal stimulants will only fool your metabolism for a while, leaving it with even worse symptoms of jet lag after the effects are gone. They also affect the recovery time, and not to mention the impression it leaves on sleep and its quality.
Nevertheless, your body, in stressful situations (and this is one of them) needs to be hydrated and drinking water, milk, or tea (which is the only allowed beverage with -lower- level of caffeine) is an excellent way to counteract the effects of jet lag.
Avoid Artificial Help
Meaning – avoid sleeping pills in the first place – and any other. The effect will, again, only be temporary and they will leave you feeling fuzzy and disoriented – the last thing you need with jet lag.
But, if you fall under despair and need some sort of supplemental help, try melatonin. It is a natural hormone produced by your brain which tells your body to go to sleep. If you have a regulated intake during these stressful times, it can work wonders.
But remember, a long flight is a pretty big exertion for your body and mind, and they deserve some normal time to recover. Go easy with pressure and shortcuts.
Set up the Mood
Again, you can try to set up a mood for yourself and make you fall asleep easier by bringing in certain night rituals, maybe the same you had back at home. They allow you to hold onto your schedule and get sleepy just before bed.
- Avoid technology and looking at the screens at least 30 minutes before heading to bed (or looking at blue lights when already in it). This cannot be stressed enough as it can affect your melatonin level and postpone the sleepy feeling resulting in tiredness, anxiety, and insomnia.
- Drink something warm – a warm cup of milk or chamomile tea as it doesn’t contain a high level of caffeine and has a calming effect on your body.
- If you’re into meditation – the best time is to practice it before bedtime. This way you free your mind of stress and overthinking, and enhance the quality of sleep, as well. If not, a good, old reading will have a similar effect.
Jet lag may just be the arch-nemesis of visiting long-distance destinations. Not only does it affect different people in different ways but its effects can vary depending on age, health, stress levels, and habitual behavior. Though no more do you need to dread it because you have superhero pieces of advice you can try after your next long flight.