Have you ever experienced jet lag after a long-haul flight?
Understand Your Circadian Rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is an internal clock that helps control when you go to sleep and wake up. It's important to understand your own circadian rhythm before you travel in order to help keep it in sync with the time zone of your destination. For instance, if you're traveling from New York to Tokyo, your circadian rhythm will need to adjust by 12 hours since Tokyo is 12 hours ahead. To make this adjustment easier, try adjusting your sleep schedule a few days before your flight by going to bed 1-2 hours earlier than usual each night until you reach Tokyo’s time zone.
Airplane cabins can be quite dry due to low humidity levels, which can make jet lag worse. So be sure to stay hydrated throughout your flight by drinking plenty of water or other fluids (avoid caffeinated drinks). Not only does staying hydrated help minimize fatigue and dehydration, but it also helps keep your body better prepared for the time change ahead. A good rule of thumb is 8 ounces per hour of flying—so if you're taking a 10-hour flight, bring 80 ounces of water!
Don’t Forget About Light Exposure
It's important to expose yourself to natural light when you arrive at your destination in order to help reset your internal clock—this means avoiding dark rooms or sleeping all day once you land! Make sure you open curtains or blinds and get outside as soon as possible upon arrival so that light exposure can help reduce the impact of jet lag on your body. Even if it's just for a few minutes at first, getting outside will help reset your internal clock much faster than staying inside all day would.