The day of your much awaited vacation has finally arrived. Your itinerary is already stretched to the maximum and you are looking forward to spending a day basking in the sun (or skiing with the family). You have arrived at your hotel when you are suddenly overcome by feelings of sluggishness and sleepiness. Boom! You are hit with jet lag.
Make a plan
A lot of people are already aware of the troubles caused by jet lag and they often prepare sufficiently before and during the flight. Still, many fail to take necessary actions to prevent jet lag or to counter the effects when they arrive at their destination. These actions are just as essential as preparing before your arrival. One way to prepare is to have a “no jet lag plan,” which you should strictly follow before indulging yourself on any business or holiday activity.
Get good sleep
Destinations in a time zone different from your origin should be dealt with in different ways. If your destination’s time zone is behind your time zone at home, getting some sleep right after arrival is suggested as useful for preventing jet lag. However, this is not always advisable, especially if you have scheduled activities upon arrival. If you cannot sleep, try taking a short nap. The best remedy for insomnia associated with jet lag is to follow normal bedtime hours at your destination. By doing this, you begin immediately the process of adapting your body clock to the new environment.
If your destination’s time zone is ahead of your home time, try to sleep through the night as best as possible to prevent jet lag, even though your body is telling you that it is the middle of the day. Natural remedies like teas, warm baths, aromatherapies, or relaxing exercises are extremely helpful, as they trigger your body’s natural sleep cycle and a relaxing state.
Expose yourself to daylight
Another factor that plays a very important role in reducing the effects of jet lag is light. To prevent jet lag, try to expose yourself to as much daylight as possible during normal waking hours. Resist the temptation to rest or sleep in your hotel room or lounge if you arrive during the day. Go out into the daylight until it is time for your usual evening routine.
Watch your diet
Pay attention to your diet after the first two to three days of your arrival. Of course, eating or drinking excessively when you are on a holiday or a business trip is quite normal. But if you want to prevent jet lag, overindulging is not the way to go. Also limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and other stimulants, and drink as much water as possible.
Finally, do not neglect to exercise. Do at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercises each day, such as a brisk walk to your hotel instead of taking a cab, or go for a swim in the pool. Your plan to prevent jet lag should include these kinds of activities.
More often than not, the true effects of jet lag are not immediately apparent upon arrival. It may take a day or two before jet lag “catches up” with you. Therefore, if you want to make the most out of your trip, prevent jet lag before it takes away your fun.