Summer is the perfect time to explore new destinations. The downside? Jet lag. The fatigue, disorientation, and sleep disturbances associated with crossing multiple time zones can put a damper on your vacation plans. And since we're all about sleep here at SIJO, we have a few simple tips and tricks to minimize the effects of jet lag and make the most of your summer travels.
Let's explore these seven essential tips to help you avoid jet lag and keep your energy levels high throughout your travels.
1. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule:
A few days before your departure, gradually shift your sleep schedule to align with your destination's time zone. Go to bed earlier or later, depending on whether you're traveling east or west. This pre-adjustment can help your body adapt more smoothly to the new time zone, reducing the severity of jet lag symptoms.
2. Stay Hydrated:
Dehydration can exacerbate the symptoms of jet lag. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight to stay hydrated. Try to ensure that you are also staying hydrated at your destination.
3. Plan for Overnight Flights:
If your travel plans involve an overnight flight, try to get some rest on the plane. Use earplugs (team SIJO loves these from Loop), an eye mask, and a neck pillow to create a comfortable sleeping environment. Avoid using electronic devices that emit blue light, as they can interfere with your sleep. If possible, choose a seat away from the galley and bathrooms to minimize disruptions.
4. Maximize Natural Light:
Exposure to natural light helps regulate your body's internal clock. Once you arrive at your destination, spend time outdoors during daylight hours to reset your circadian rhythm. If you arrive during the evening, avoid bright lights to signal to your body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
5. Avoid Long Naps:
This one might just be the toughest tip yet! But, try to resist the temptation to take a long nap upon arrival. It can disrupt your sleep schedule and prolong jet lag. Instead, try to stay awake until the local bedtime, even if you feel tired. If necessary, take short power naps (around 20-30 minutes, but no more than that) to combat fatigue during the day.
6. Stay Active:
Take short walks, stretch, or do some light exercises to keep your energy levels up and help beat fatigue. If your hotel has a gym or offers fitness classes, take advantage of them to stay active during your trip. Or, to get a quick overview of your destination, take a little stroll around the town you're visiting.
7. Consider Melatonin or Sleep Patches:
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Taking melatonin supplements, or using patches (like those from our friends at Restore Patch) can help adjust your body's internal clock when traveling across time zones. We do recommend checking with your doctor before taking melatonin or other sleep aids to ensure it doesn't have any adverse affects for you, especially if taking other supplements or prescription medications.
And there you have it! Using these seven essential tips, you can minimize the effects of jet lag and adapt more quickly to new time zones. We hope you'll be able to enjoy your summer adventures to the fullest, feeling refreshed and energized throughout your journey. Bon voyage!