Jet lag is one of the very worst of travelling curses. No one who’s gone on a long flight has escaped from the claws of this monster. But why does jet lag happen in the first place? And what can you do to reduce the effects?
There is some physical component to jet lag, such as dehydration and tiredness that comes from being in uncomfortable travelling situations and not getting enough fluids. But that’s not the only reason for jet lag. The real reason behind jet lag is your internal clock, which basically gets confused when you move across time zones. So while your body is sitting on a beach in the Maldives, your internal clock is still running on the time zone for New York.
There are a few tried and tested tricks to keeping jet lag from ruining your vacation. One is to simply plan ahead and try to get to sleep according to the new place you’re moving to. If you’re moving east, go to sleep earlier in the week preceding the vacation, and if you’re moving west, then sleep a little later than you usually do.
Another thing you could do is try to manage long haul flights that end in the evening. The tiredness from your flight will allow you to go to sleep naturally at the end of your flight, at the ‘natural’ time for sleeping. Of course, you’ll have to avoid sleeping during the flight to achieve that. Another thing you should avoid is alcohol, not only during the flight but also before and after it. Why? Because alcohol worsens dehydration and as we mentioned in the beginning, dehydration makes jet lag worse. The most you can do is prepare, and these tips should help.
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