Keeping Jet Lag and Travel Fatigue At Bay

You probably don’t want to put yourself through the symptoms of jet lag because it’s uncomfortable, if not because it can lead to negative health effects. One of the best things about travelling to an international destination id that itself: it's international. You cross off destinations from your bucket list, come across cultures and new friends but unfortunately, you happen to be crossing time zones too. And the least that you want while exploring the ancient pyramids of Egypt or absorbing the grandeur of the Eiffel Tower is jet-lagged induced drowsiness dragging down your travel groove.

  Jet lag convinces you that sleeping would be more enjoyable, the moment you set foot in a different time zone. This turns you into a disoriented, hazy-headed and incredibly fatigued person. Not just that,jet lag can even make you physically sick. While it’s difficult to avoid jet lag altogether, you can take some steps to help decrease the number of days you spend in a fog. This is especially important for people travelling East, as jet lag tends to affect those “losing” time more than those “gaining” time. Take a look at this article on giving jet lag the cold shoulder.

1. Overcoming Jet Lag in "pre-travel" mode:

Having to not overcome several nights of poor sleep before you’ve even begun your trip makes it easier to fight jet lag . Getting quality sleep before your overnight flight might sound hard, but being so organised will save you from the upcoming drowsiness.

2. Ignore Spasmodic Sleeping Habits:

Setting your watch to your new time zone as soon as your flight takes off and attempts to sleep accordingly seems like the most accommodating idea. While this seems like a good idea, it’s actually healthier to only sleep for an hour at a time. Walking around every few hours on long flights will increase  your blood flow through your body.

3. Being Hydrated is the key:

Dehydration leads to a more severe case of jet lag, so make sure you sip down plenty of water down your throat. No matter how compelled you feel to drink beverages in order to stay awake, caffeine induced beverages, mainly, don't. Such drinks cause dehydration. Similarly, you'd want alcohol to help you fall asleep, but alcohol too causes dehydration. Give your body the chance to adjust naturally.

4. Being in shape never goes out of style:

The healthier you are, the faster your body will adjust to a new time zone. Be sure to exercise, follow a healthy diet and get plenty of rest on a regular basis long before you take off.  Just know that your lifestyle affects many aspects of your health, including your ability to travel.

5. Be "Clock Wise":

The most symbolic move towards a new time zone would be resetting your watch as soon as you take off. It will help set your perspective toward thinking later . It’s a psychological “trick” that helps keep you focused on the time zone at your destination.

6. Check Your Sleeping Arrangements:

Staying awake until it's time for bed in your new time zone, when you arrive after an overnight flight even though seems very hard but is very important. If you can make it until 8 or 9 PM on that first night, you’ll have taken a big step toward overcoming the jet lag that can spoil your trip for days.  If you typically have trouble staying asleep the first night or two when you travel, consider taking a mild sleeping pill. 

7.  Light Modulation Will Take You A Long Way:

When travelling towards the east,avoid light in the morning. Use sunglasses, eye masks, or close your window blinds. When your body clock thinks it’s about 4:30 am home time, get some light. Even artificial light is better than none. Then day by day, gradually move your light exposure time earlier. If figuring out in which direction you should be exposing yourself to light seems confusing, there are jet lag advisors to help take out some of the guess work. British Airways has great advisors for such things. Moreover, there are apps available for your convenience. 


Beeba M Singh