Jetlag is a sleep disorder normally experienced by people who travel across countries with different timezones. Their internal clock cannot easily adjust to the new time.
Aside from difficulty in sleeping, those who suffer jetlag often feel tired and disoriented throughout the day and thus concentrating becomes difficult. It simply means you will not be able to maximize the time at your destination since you feel dizzy or drowsy most of the time.
Tips to Deal with Your Body Clock
Adapting immediately to your destination time zone is the best way to deal with jet lag, by following these suggestions:
• Adjust your sleeping habits a few days before traveling. If you know that you are leaving for another country with an earlier time zone next week, instead of sleeping at 10 pm, you should go to bed at 9 am and then adjust again an hour earlier the following day. This way, you are gradually adjusting your body clock so that you can easily go to sleep when you arrive at your destination country. (Do the reverse if you are going to a country with a later time zone.)
• Adjust your wakeup time as well in accordance with the place of your destination.
• If you predict yourself to have some difficulty sleeping, bring along your favorite pillow and blanket when you travel. It may also help if you carry some personal items, such as your favorite teddy bear, some photographs, or a good book to help you feel at ease with your new surroundings.
• Naps should be avoided while on board the plane. It is more difficult to sleep if you are well rested and you have enough sleep. If after your arrival you really need to grab some sleep, limit it to two hours only.
• Make sure to hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water (not coffee or anything caffeinated). According to research, the body experiences difficulty adjusting to time when it is dehydrated.
• Until you have adjusted to the new time zone, avoid drinking excessive coffee, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol. Also, limit your tobacco intake. These items are known to disrupt sleeping patterns. Eat light and familiar meals as well until your body gets familiar with the food.
• Get some sunlight as soon as you wake up. It helps reset the body’s circadian rhythm. Upon waking up, open the blinds and windows or immediately go for a walk to easily reset your internal clock.
• Turn down your light when it is sleeping time. Close your curtains and blinds or use a sleeping mask to block out bright lights. If it is possible, use a room that is farthest from the busiest section of where you are staying. In addition, check the room temperature before going to sleep. You do not want to wake up in the middle of the night because the temperature gets too cold or too warm.
If you have done all these and your body still cannot adapt with the sudden changes, give it more time to adjust. Avoid pushing yourself too hard. If you feel sleepy throughout the day, do take some naps but make sure not to oversleep. If you continue following these tips, soon your internal clock will reset favorably.