Resetting your watch is the easy part, but resetting your brain once you reach your destination, not so easy at all. It’s called Jet lag.
Whether you are flying domestically or internationally, one of the factors that you will need to deal with is traveling through different time zones. Resetting your watch is the easy part, but resetting your brain once you reach your destination, not so easy at all. It’s called “jet lag” and it is one of the most difficult things that challenges just about every savvy traveler out there. Basically, whenever you fly, you typically reset the time of day, but you don’t consider resetting your internal body clock.
According to the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and NeuroTrials Research CEO, Dr. Russell Rosenberg, jet lag doesn’t result from the actual flying time involved. It results because your internal clock cannot move quickly enough in order to catch up with environmental time change. However, once you have fallen into sync with the time at your destination, jet lag typically passes within 48 to 72 hours. Just remember that jet lag is a physical syndrome that actually affects your entire body as well as your brain.
Fortunately, we have listed a few strategies and tips below that will enable you to speed up your internal clock so you can acclimate yourself to your new time zone much easier:
Adopt the hour of the time zone at your destination – do this the moment you board your plane. Reset your watch accordingly and start thinking about your destination. Psychologically, you are prepping your mind to adjust to the new timing. This helps you adjust better.
Don’t drink alcohol or consume any depressants – before boarding the plane and during your flight, be sure to avoid taking Dramamine or any other types of motion sickness medications. Most of the depressants and alcohol put you in a slumber like state, making it even more difficult to stay awake.
Drink plenty of water – this means before, during, and after your flight. You should drink a minimum of 16 ounces prior to departing and 1 liter (33.8 oz.) per hour of flying time. Even when you are not feeling thirsty, you still want to drink since the signs of dehydration are not always obvious.
Eat lighter than normal – try to keep from eating a heavy meal prior to and during your flight. This will ensure that you don’t feel giddy or nauseated during the flight. You end up being more alert and aware of your surroundings.
Once you reach your destination, it’s ok to take a nap – just keep it to 30 minutes (an hour at most). Otherwise, you may find that you have difficulties getting to sleep when it is finally time for you to go to bed in the evening.
Reset your internal clock prior to your flight – start by shifting your bedtime by up to two hours about 75 hours before the day your flight leaves. This will help you adjust to the new place better.