What Is Jet Lag and How to Avoid It
July 25, 2023
Author: Chanahra Fletcher
We’ve all been there: bags packed, flight boarded, and buzzing with excitement for a lively vacation. And then, as soon as the wheels touch down and the fun is supposed to begin, it hits us: jet lag. It creeps in and steals the show, leaving us foggy, groggy, and ready to fall asleep in the middle of the day. As unavoidable as it seems, jet lag shouldn’t have to be part of your travel plans, and—lucky for you—we know the tips and tricks for how to get over it. If you’re planning for a summer of jet-setting, sun soaking, and stealing weekends away, read on for our tips on how to avoid jet lag for a perfect vacay.
What Is Jet Lag?
Jet lag is a temporary sleep problem caused by traveling across three or more time zones. After traveling, your body can become shocked by its new schedule. The resulting change in daylight hours, activity, and sleep schedule can affect your mood, mental concentration, and physical performance. And for how long does jet lag last? While jet lag symptoms can last several days to a week, there are several jet lag treatments you can do to mitigate its effects.
How to Avoid Jet Lag
While recovering from jet lag is seldom easy, avoiding it completely surprisingly is. There are several strategies you can use to prevent feeling jet lagged, but the key is to start them early and to stay consistent. Before traveling, adjust your sleep schedule according to the direction you’re flying in. If you’re traveling east, commence your sleep routine early, and fall asleep one to two hours earlier than usual. If you’re traveling west, delay your sleep schedule by going to bed one to two hours later than normal. Attempt to align your body with the daylight hours of your destination, and begin eating, drinking, sleeping, and waking during times that correspond with your final location.
While flying, try to eat lightly. As jet lag can sometimes cause an upset stomach, it’s important to eat light foods as your body adjusts to the change. Also, make sure to bring essentials, like a travel blanket and a travel pillow, along for the ride. Pair them with noise-canceling headphones or an eye mask and sleep according to the local time of your destination, so you can adjust your body en route. Once you arrive, follow the sleep routines of that particular place. Sleep, wake, and stay active according to the schedule of the people that live there, strategically exercise and consume caffeinated beverages to aid the change. If absolutely necessary, use your travel pillow, blanket, and other accessories to take short, 20-minute naps that won’t affect your ability to fall asleep later.
Wake Up Awake, No Matter Where, with T&N
Whether you’re proactively researching jet lag prevention, or actively mitigating its effects, we at Tuft & Needle are here to make sure you wake up refreshed, invigorated, and awake. With essentials like travel pillows, travel blankets, and bedding, you can sleep peacefully no matter where you are knowing you have an equally-comfortable setup at home. So, as you fly, drive, or ride to your summer vacay destinations, know that Tuft & Needle is there to help you wake refreshed, no matter the time of day.