If you fly frequently, you might have noticed that your sleep schedule could get scattered. When you get to your destination, you might be unusually sleepy when you should be awake and wide awake when you should be asleep.
This is particularly worse when you have to travel eastward across many timezones. This experience is usually called Jet Lag. It is the disruption of your sleep pattern when you are on a long trip or when you’re working a shift job.
It happens when the body’s biological clock called the circadian rhythm gets distorted by factors like changing temperature, noise, altitude or exposure to bright lights.
In this post, we’ll be outlining different strategies to help you sleep better when you travel across different timezones.
1. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
In the hours preceding your flight, try to avoid taking any stimulants like alcohol or caffeine. These can affect your ability to sleep later when you actually need to.
2. Adjust Your Sleep Pattern Days Before Your Trip
If you had been sleeping very late because of a busy schedule, try to be deliberate about getting enough sleep days before your flight. For adults, what is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation is 7-9 hours a day. So, you can try to go to bed around 10 pm and wake up by 6 am. If you had a bad sleep pattern where you sleep at 1 am and wake up by 5 am, you may feel worse after traveling across timezones.
3. Arrive One Day Earlier
The benefit of doing this is that you have enough time to attempt to reset your biological sleep clock before your event. If you have a major meeting or speaking event, you definitely want to be at your best, not feeling drowsy. If you get to your destination the same day as your event, you might feel uncomfortable, fatigued and sleepy.
4. Adjust Your Clock To Suit Your Destination Time
This little hack is one of the most important things to do to combat jet lag. Adjusting your clock or wrist watch can do a lot for you because your mind will adjust to what to expect at your destination. If you’re going to land early in the morning, you can attempt to sleep in the plane so that you wake up refreshed during sunlight.
5. Exercise In The Day
Exercise helps you get a sound sleep. When you exercise, you burn some energy and get yourself suited for a refreshing sleep. You can try to do this especially the day before your journey or after arriving at your destination. However, it’s not advisable to exercise in the evenings or close to bedtime as it can hamper your ability to sleep.
6. Choose Your Flights Carefully
It might be better to book flights that land in the evenings before the sun completely sets, this gives you some time to adjust to your new environment. You can then try to go to bed around 10 pm to avoid jet lag.
7. Adjust Your Sleep Environment
When you get to your destination, try to make your room comfortable enough for you to sleep. You can follow some of these tips:
- Use a comfortable mattress and pillow
- Set your room’s temperature to suit you (not too hot or too cold)
- Turn off the lights
- Keep your phone away
- Close the blinds
8. Discuss With Your Doctor
If you are very concerned about having jet lag or if you have a background sleep disorder, please talk with your doctor before heading across timezones. Sleep disorders can worsen jet lag and should be treated. Depending on your concerns and medical history, your doctor may even prescribe pills to help you cope better.
Guest article by Omie Charles-Davies, he loves to travel for fun and also writes at travelefficiency.com
Article By: Omie Charles-Davies