New Delhi: In today’s world, travelling across time zones is inevitable and so in the jetlag due to that.
So here are some tips to prevent a jetlag or recover from it.
First, re-set your body clock. Four or five days before you have to travel, shift your sleep and wake-up schedule by one hour each day. Try also to reschedule your meal times. If flying east, advance it and if flying west delay it. This gradual shifting will prepare your body and help it re-adjust its biological clock to the new time zone, much better and faster.
Second, make an overnight flight. It’s not always possible, but if you have the option, take an overnight flight so that you can sleep well on the flight (earplugs and eye mask help) and not feel sleep-deprived when you land. This is the best way to replicate your normal schedule and makes it easier to reset your body clock. If you have a very long flight, across several time zones, choose one that allows early evening arrival, so that you can sleep within a few hours of reaching. On boarding the plane, don’t forget to change your watch to the destination time zone.
Third, drink plenty of water. Pressurized airplanes make you dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water throughout the journey helps. It doesn’t matter, if you don’t feel thirsty, drink a glass of water every two hours. It won’t stop jet lag, but it will make sure dehydration doesn’t add to your fatigue on arrival.
Fourth, don’t drink tea or coffee. Before, as well as during the flight, avoid drinking tea or coffee. The caffeine in it stays in the system several hours after consumption. Both tea and coffee act as stimulants and keep you wake so you are not well-rested in the flight. You land at your destination, tired and groggy.
Fifth, Avoid alcohol. Travelling at high altitude affects blood circulation and can exaggerate the effects of alcohol.Drinking in flight can also dehydrate you and worsen the symptoms of jetlag when you land.
Sixth, stay active, step outdoor. Unless you reach your destination in the middle of the night, stay active until bedtime. It will help you adjust to the new time zone. If it’s day time when you reach, spend some time outdoors. Fresh air and sunshine not only help you stay awake, but also help your body reset its biological clock in tune with the new place.
Seventh, sleeping pills should be the last resort. If you are severely jetlagged — can’t sleep for 3-4consecutive nights after reaching — you could consider taking a sleeping pill if you have used it before. Be sure about the dosage. It is best to consult a doctor before taking any new medication.
Eighth, consider taking melatonin. In extreme cases a doctor may give you melatonin. Studies show that taking a small doze of this hormone before bedtime after arrival in a new time zone can ease the transition. Research suggests that the body uses melatonin to re-set its time clock.