Jet Lag Solutions: How to Adjust to Time Zone Changes and Traveling

No matter how fun and exciting a vacation is, no one enjoys the fatigue and exhaustion that come with jet lag. Jet lag is a condition caused by crossing multiple time zones in a short period of time, leaving the traveler unable to adjust to the new rhythm of day and night. It can cause exhaustion, poor sleeping patterns, lack of energy, and disorientation. Fortunately, there are some helpful tips that can help make the transition to a new time zone easier, as well as help travelers avoid the fatigue of jet lag.

What is Jet Lag?

Jet lag is a condition that can affect anyone who is crossing several time zones in a short period of time. It occurs when the body’s internal clock—the biological clock that tells the body when it’s time to sleep, eat, drink and move—cannot adjust to the new time zone. As a result, the person experiences fatigue and feeling of exhaustion, as well as changes to their natural sleeping patterns, appetite and body temperature. It can take days or even weeks for the body to recover from the effects of jet lag, making it an uncomfortable travel experience.

What Causes Jet Lag?

Jet lag is most often caused by traveling over long distances and crossing several time zones in the course of a short amount of time. This disrupts the body’s ability to adjust to the new schedule and the different light patterns in the new environment. This disruption can be so severe that it affects the traveler’s sleeping patterns, appetite, perception of time and their body temperature, resulting in jet lag.

How to Avoid Jet Lag

The best way to avoid jet lag is to allow your body to adjust to the different time zones before traveling. The following tips can help you do just that:

  1. Adjust Your Habits: Try adjusting your habits such as your sleep and eating schedule before traveling so it matches the new time zone’s that you’ll be visiting. If you need to, set an alarm to wake up at the same time each day and ensure you get enough sleep.

  2. Avoid Alcohol & Caffeine: Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol consumption, as these can make it harder for your body to adjust and may exacerbate jet lag symptoms.

  3. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water before and during your travels to stay hydrated, as dehydration can make jet lag worse.

  4. Exercise & Stretch: Exercise and stretching can help keep you energized and adjusted to changing time zones.

  5. Use Natural Supplements: If you want to reduce the effects of jet lag, consider herbal remedies that work in tandem with your natural biological clock. Valerian root, melatonin, magnesium, and bee pollen are some potential supplements that may help reduce jet lag.

Jet Lag Solutions

Even though avoiding jet lag is the best way to go, there are several things that you can do to make the transition to a new time zone easier.

  1. Reset Your Clock: Once you arrive at your destination, reset your body clock to the local time by sticking to a routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, take regular naps, and eat meals at regular times of the day.

  2. Use Light Therapy: Make use of the natural light in your environment by going outdoors during the day and getting some sunshine, and expose yourself to light from artificial sources at night.

  3. Take Advil or Tylenol: Taking Advil or Tylenol can help you adjust to the new time zone by balancing how you feel and regulate your physical sensations.

  4. Take a Melatonin Supplement: Melatonin supplements help regulate sleeping patterns and adjust to a different time zone.

  5. Enjoy Caffeine in Moderation: Enjoy a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea but do it in moderation and opt for decaf in the late afternoon.

  6. Get Some Exercise: Get some exercise to help energize the body and prepare it for a new time zone.

  7. Avoid Jet-Lag Inducing Foods: Certain foods like chocolate, processed snacks, and high-energy drinks can make jet lag symptoms worse, as they can place a strain on the body’s resources and make it harder for you to adjust.

Jet lag is an unpleasant condition caused by long-distance travel and crossing numerous time zones. It can lead to fatigue and feeling of exhaustion, poor sleeping patterns, lack of energy, and disorientation. But with proper planning and preparation, as well as making adjustments to one’s sleeping and eating times, it is possible to adjust to a new time zone and lessen the impact of jet lag. Knowing which foods to avoid and which supplements to include in your routine can make a big difference. If all else fails, getting some exercise, bright light exposure and enjoying some caffeine in moderation can help your body return to its usual schedule.