Jet lag is such an odd source of misery that after follows your travelling escapades. I’m still not fully convinced I understand how time zones really work, but it’s safe to say that jet lag is no laughing matter and not to be underestimated in the physical toll it can take on an individual. There’s endless notions of different ways to improve the situation but sometimes it’s just really hard to find a way around it – Here’s the key things to remember though.
Eat food at the right time
So one of the main ways to help your body readjust to a new time zone is to pre-sync up on meal times with the timezone you are about to venture onto. This is helpful because your body clock runs off food and not whether it’s day or night. So if you are eating breakfast at the time of your destination’s breakfast then this will massively help rejig your body and prep you for the change.
Drink lots of water
This advice seems to be present on literally every advice giving list for every single activity in the world so I guess it’s a no brainier now. Travelling is knackering, even if it feels like you are doing nothing the whole thing is just restless, sometimes stressful and exhausting on you. Water is key in keeping your mind alert and your body alive so just bring a big bottle on the plane with you and don’t forget to stay hydrated if you want to feel more human at the end of the journey. Unfortunately you’ll have to fork out for some bottled water on the other side of security and pay the dear airport prices but hey it’s worth it in the long run.
Yes it’s a dream come true, you finally have a solid reason to go back to your pre-toddler stage in life and take some regular naps on a long haul flight. This is a good way to not become completely nocturnal by conflicting entirely with the day/night schedule of your destination but also give you enough energy to power on through and make it till the night time in your new location.
Those are the main three things to consider when trying to adjust to a new timezone and they are quite obvious in what logical sense they have as to why they are seriously important in your body readjusting the time changes. Other people will tell you many old wives tales and various different tricks and cures to jet lag no doubt. I guess there’s no harm in trying them but if there’s any real way to deal with it then it’s all about adjusting those three innate and essential aspects of being a human and that will take care of you.
I can’t stress enough that you should really focus on food, water and sleep. I speak from experience that the alternative is pretty damn tolling. I did not sleep at all on a 12 hour flight between a 6 hour time difference. And on top of that I had started my day at 5:30 am after a horrendous night sleeping on a 14 hour night bus which prior to that began with a 4 hour long morning walk. All in all I was awake for over 24 hours, and then went on to manage 3 days with just 10 hours sleep because I had an insanely busy weekend and two early morning starts straight away. I can laugh about it now but at the time I honestly felt like I would never have a full night sleep again. My body was so far past the point of exhaustion that even when I had time to sleep I just couldn’t shut off. It felt pretty dangerous, my sanity was entirely lost, words were just coming out of my mouth without any recognition inside my head and I found everything incredibly funny. I even had a terrifyingly insane laugh accompanying everything that sounded as if it could potentially break into a cry at any point. It took me a good 5 days after my flight to feel adjusted and back to my normal self, so my heads up to you is definitely avoid doing what I did, you’ll thank me later.