Travelling the world and crossing time zones on a regular basis has become the new norm for mankind. We stopped considering the fact that the human body wasn’t made to travel incredibly long distances at high speed. Humans are wired to accommodate the ‘circadian rhythms’ of our bodies – sleep at night, wake in the morning and get a good sleep for optimal health and function.
When we travel through two time zones, we usually experience fatigue, malaise and are far from being bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Here are some great tips to prevent the devastation of jet lag
1. Depending on your destination, decide if your flight time should be used for sleep or rather for awake relaxation.
Before you step on the plane you should ideally put yourself on the time zone of your destination. Since it works best if done gradually and most of us sleep best in our own beds, it’s wise to move bedtime earlier if you fly east and delay it if flying west. Similarly, on the plane turn your watch to your destination’s time. Last time I went to Israel I fell asleep at 6pm and woke up at 3am, after nine hours of sleep I had breakfast and enjoyed the sunshine and 9am Tel Aviv time. If you fly west, do the opposite.
2. Always pick the window seat so you don’t have to be disturbed.
Put a pillow and a rolled up coat or sweater between you the window and snooze.
3. Turn off all your devices, movies and keep your area as dark as possible.
Your circadian rhythm will be allowed to act naturally and will allow you to slumber.
4. Take a sleeping pill for long flights such as melatonin or Ambien.
It will knock you out and put you in your intended time zone. By the time of arrival, it should be out of your system.
5. Hydrate but avoid caffeine.
All through your flight avoid caffeine or foods that contain them. It will make you restless and unable to relax.
6. Bring ear plugs, a neck pillow, noise cancelling headsets and comfortable clothes.
Soft, loose clothes, earplugs to block out screaming babies and other loud offenders, asoft warm pashmina and socks. Anything to make you feel cozy and able to curl up and relax.