It’s that time of year again! Dare we say it but Thanksgiving is merely three weeks away so whether you’re jetting somewhere for work or pleasure as the holidays approach, it’s never too early to pay attention to our health and jet lag.
After all, if we’re exhausted we’re not going to be productive at work. (Nor will we be happy as we yawn the day away.)
According to the National Sleep Foundation, studies have shown that jet lag results in an imbalance in our body’s very own biological clock.
For example, if you’re traveling to a new time zone, the circadian rhythm of your body will be slow to adjust and remain on its original biological schedule for at least a few days. That schedule tells us when it’s time to sleep even though it could be 6 p.m. in your new destination!
So, what can you do about it? Here are several tips courtesy of the foundation.
- Select a flight so you may arrive in the new destination in the early evening and stay awake until 10 p.m. local time. If you truly must snooze during the day, then your nap should not exceed two hours.
- Anticipate the change by going to sleep earlier than normal a few days prior to your trip. That means if you’re traveling eastward, your bedtime should be earlier; if you’re traveling westward, your bedtime should be later.
- Avoid alcohol or caffeine at least three to four hours before bedtime.
- Upon arrival at your new destination, stay away from heavy meals. A snack is okay but chocoholics should stay away from their vice.
- In addition, avoid heavy exercise close to bedtime. Light exercise earlier on is fine.
- Try to go outside in the sunlight. Apparently daylight is powerful and helps decrease jet lag whereas staying indoors will propel it.