For anyone who moves internationally or cross-country, the symptoms of jet lag are almost same - disturbed sleep, daytime fatigue, and tiredness etc. It affects not only your physical being but also your mental state. And whether you're traveling for work or to study, you don't want to be debilitated while your body catches up.
However, it's impossible to eliminate jet lag altogether, but you can gradually prevent or reduce its effects. Here are some simple strategies to avoid jet lag: Learn how to prevent this travel fatigue with the following tips, before, during and after your move.
Before your move
The best way to overcome jet lag is by taking precautions and preparing well in advance. Take precautions before your move to limit or avoid symptoms of jet lag, which include insomnia, exhaustion, irritability, hunger or lack of appetite.
- Get plenty of rest: You are putting your body through some stress when traveling abroad. So, you need to get plenty of rest before you plan to move internationally. Pack your belongings at least a day in advance and have enough sleep before your flight. This reduces your stress and will leave you better equipped to cope with jet lag.
Note: Get a good night's sleep before your move to limit stress
- Avoid arriving at night: If possible, book a flight that arrives at your destination in the morning. This will allow you to sleep on the plane and make you to stay awake through the flight if you will be arriving in the evening
- Make adjustments before you leave: Moving internationally means you're traveling to a new time zone which ultimately affects the internal body clock. So, before you make a move, start adjusting your internal body clock slowly. Depending on the time zone (earlier or later) you're moving, start sleeping and eating earlier or later about a week to match those of your new country a few days before your departure
- Exercise before your move: You're moving abroad, you have to prepare many things in order to make your move successful. So, it's easy to skip your regular exercise when you're planning to travel overseas. But a serious workout before a long journey will help you in the long run - it improves your sleeping quality, which is important when you're heading to a new place.
Note: Do not exceed your daily caffeine intake
During your move
To limit the effects of jet lag further, stick to these guidelines during your flight -- symptoms are reportedly lessened if you are flying west.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sleeping pills: Drinking plenty of water before, during and after your flight is a great way to offset the effect of the jet lag. While you're traveling make sure to drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol to stay hydrated. Also, skip sleeping pills which force the body into an unnatural state of sleep.
- Reset your watch: When you get on the plane, reset your watch and other electronic devices to the time of your destination. This helps to be alert when traveling overseas. If you're arriving in the evening, try to take short naps. If you can't sleep, grab a pair of earplugs, close your eyes, enjoy the music and relax for a while. This may helpful to prevent jet lags.
- Take short walks: When you're on the plane, make sure to move around periodically, and do some stretches during longer flights to keep yourself awake.
After your move
Once your internal clock resets to your new time zone, any symptoms of jet lag will pass -- this becomes harder the older you are. To get back on track quicker, do the following upon arrival in order to overcome jet lag.
- Live like the locals: Once you arrive at your destination, do as the locals do in order to avoid jet lag. Stay awake as close to your new bedtime, eat healthy food. If possible, take a walk outside in the sun -- natural light has been shown to help your body's natural clock readjust and wind down in your new home before bedtime with a nice cup of tea to cope up with jet lag
- Create a comforting environment. If you do not find sleeping at a new place a pleasant experience, you can help your body fall asleep easier by creating a dark and comforting environment
- Nurture your soul. Finally, do everything you can do to nourish yourself. What makes you to relax at your new home? Your favorite meal, a long walk in the fresh air, or a casual talk with your friend--give yourself what you need in order to get over jet lag
So, you've worked out on how to get over jet lag and now you're ready to travel. But when it comes to what to expect in terms of jet lag possibilities, every move is different. Plan everything well in advance and try to arrive a few days early to give your body a chance to adjust. Ask your fellow travelers, who have experienced in the way of jet lag and get some tips on how to avoid jet lag. By taking these tips into consideration, you will better be able to prepare in advance to avoid jet lag when traveling overseas.