Jetlagged: When your thoughts aren’t clear, and your brain is foggy and you have no clue of what time it is.
But you’re still happy because
Maybe you’re going to Europe?
Or to South East Asia?
Or to a far off exotic island?
You bought the tickets, gathered all the essential documents from your checklist and picked out your suitcase.
Now you’re ready for the fun part: guidebooks and gathering information.
And figuring out how to get over jetlag.
Ok, you’re ready to go go go go on your awesome vacation !
With a stressful smile, you get to the airport, check in and search for the little TV announcing gate times.
After walking around, you buy a few useless things, eat stuff that’s not good for you, keep the kids occupied the best you can.
And people watch.
You’re killing time yet watching it like a hawk. Wouldn’t want to miss that flight!
And when you finally hand over the boarding pass, your state of mind starts to shift.
You’re just 15 hours away from bliss.
After finding the right seat number, and making use of your arm muscles to stuff your carry on above your head, you try to get comfortable.
Not easy, because yes, it’s going to be a long flight.
Fast forward 15 hours.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re preparing our descent!”
Yes. Yes. Yes! Vacation!!
But actually.. no.
Your body is going through some strange thing.
It’s still on home time, and
It’s not dangerous, but it’s a pain and can make exploring your new destination difficult.
Studies show that when we cross just
Also, seasons count. If it’s a different one than the one at home, it could make you feel even more jetlagged and your brain will have to make additional adjustments.
The upside is that in most cases, you can smoothly ease out of jetlag with a few simple tips.
BEFORE YOU GO
To avoid feeling jetlagged on vacation, you actually need to start adjusting before you leave.
- Check the time at your destination and figure out how many hours difference with home.
- Then up to a week (or a few days) before departure try to do things according to your future vacation time.
- Force yourself to sleep earlier or later according to your destination time. And have your meals around the new time as well.
Even if it feels awkward or uncomfortable, you’ll clearly benefit from this shift and feel less jetlagged once on vacation.
However, if you have vital work to do until the last day, then it’s wise not to push yourself too much.
SLEEP-RELATED: Lack of Sleep? How to Get Back in the Rhythm
Have you ever stayed up late trying to get al the last minute stuff done before travel the next morning?
Probably. We all have.
It’s not really the best plan. So try something different and get enough rest before taking off.
Of course, it’s hard but worth the effort.
Organize everything in advance and minimize all the last minute stuff (like packing?) the night before your trip.
You’ll feel relaxed, sleep better and get off to a good vacation start.
Remember, it’s well known how lack of sleep wreaks havoc with our internal
But when traveling it also makes it harder to shake off that jetlagged feeling.
Note: When you buy your ticket, try to include a short stopover.
The break will help you ease into a new time zone and cherry on the cake you can visit someplace interesting.
ON YOUR WAY
Get as comfortable as you can. Is that even possible when you feel like a sardine strapped in a tin box?
While watching a good movie, avoid alcohol and coffee. These liquids are extremely dehydrating and could make jet lag worse on arrival.
Also, set your watch and your phone to destination time.
Repeatedly seeing a different time influences your thinking and your behavior
Read here for tips on how to make the best of long trips.
FINALLY HERE! JETLAGGED?
Got settled in?
If you arrive during daylight, it’s good for the brain. Sun and natural light will help reduce jetlag.
But keep things simple for the first few days and celebrate the start of your vacation with a few tips.
- Try to stay awake until local sleep time.
- Go ahead and sightsee, but don’t overdo activities that require lots of energy. If possible, schedule those a little later in the week.
Fomexperience, drinking alcohol when jetlagged is rarely a good idea. Time changes already induce a state of slight confusion so drink water instead ..
- Have your meals at the same time locals do. If you’re hungry, keep healthy snacks on hand.
- Depending on your destination, you may wake up very early. Take advantage of this high energy time – get dressed and get going!
- If you feel tired, include very short naps during the day.
- When jetlagged, also make sure you don’t oversleep. Set your alarm for the first couple of mornings until your body adjusts.
ARE YOU DR.SPOCK?
Jetlag symptoms vary of course. They can be light or severe depending on if you’re going east-west or west-east.
Crossing time zones to the west gives us more hours to recover.
Traveling east has the opposite effect.
Some people feel uncomfortable while others have a hard time coping.
Symptoms run from just being “out of it” to feeling jumbled up or lethargic.
Additional drawbacks to feeling jetlagged: headaches, loss of
Changing time zones after a long flight can affect our reactions and clarity.
But the good news is: it’s temporary!
So really no need to worry.
Implement the tips above to minimize the effects and after a few days at your destination, all this will be old news.
On getting back home.. well sorry to say you may feel jetlagged again.
But hey, it’s a small price to pay for some great vacation time!
I just can’t wait for the future.. when all we’ll need to do is say “Beam me up, Scotty!”
SAFE TRAVELS. TOGETHER.