As summer is upon us many will be heading to exotic locations for their next holiday. Something that usually spoils my first two days of a holiday is jet lag. However, you’re in luck because I studied sleep a few years back (yes, that was a module) and learnt how to REALLY combat jet lag.
Firstly, why do we get jet lag? A common misconception is that jet lag is caused by a lack of sleep, which isn’t necessarily the case. Our bodies are synced up with our location so we feel awake in the day and tired at night based on our environment. When it’s dark your pineal gland releases melatonin, which many will know as the sleep hormone. Your circadian rhythm (body clock) is in tune with your environment. Yes, that’s a real thing! So, when we hop countries and enter different time zones our bodies become confused and we experience symptoms of jet lag.
So, I’m not going to go through all the myths that supposedly help you avoid jet lag but the main one I do want to address is the whole sleeping on a plane waking up fresh as a daisy in Bangkok lie. Mainly because my parents always used to say this to me!
Don’t book one of those god awful night flights thinking you’ll sleep on the plane. Jet lag will catch up with you, it will find you and it will get you. The best thing you can do is book a day time flight and just pretend it’s like you’ve been on the other countries time your entire life – you exotic traveler you!
The best thing to do is arrive, eat food at the same times you would at home but on the other countries clock. Food is actually a big part in helping you kill jet lag quicker because you’re tricking your body to keep to your schedule (not telling it you’re in a different time zone).
Finally, sleep at a normal time in your new country. I know it’s annoying when your tossing and turning, you lie there thinking your just going to fall asleep on the sunbed later but don’t let yourself! Don’t curl up in your air-conditioned room and have that family mid day nap! It will fuck you up! Siestas are reserved for post-jet lag life.
Give my tips a go and let me know how you get on.
Don’t upset the rhythm yo.