Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, traveling can be fun and exciting, but traveling to another time zone can throw your whole trip off if you run into “jet lag”. Jet Lag occurs when your circadian rhythms are slow to adjust to the new time zone and are stuck on their original biological schedule for a few days. The results can vary but usually your body is constantly telling you it is time to sleep, when it’s actually the middle of the afternoon, or your body makes you want to stay awake when it is very late at night.
Luckily, we have a few tips for minimizing the occurrence of jet lag:
- Pick a flight that allows early evening arrival and stay up until at least10 p.m. local time. (If you absolutely must sleep during the day, take a small nap in the early afternoon, but keep it to two hours or less. Set an alarm to be sure not to over sleep.)
- Avoid alcoholic beverages or caffeine at least 3 to 4 hours before going to bed for the night. Both of these act as “stimulants” and prevent sleep.
- Get outside in the sunlight whenever possible! Daylight is a powerful stimulant for regulating the biological clock. (Staying indoors WORSENS jet lag.
Modifying your behavior can aid your to body cope and overcome jet lag. Melatonin is another alternative, sold over the counter at most pharmacies.