Well, they say getting to a destination is half the fun. That thought may be useful when you’re out hiking in Yellowstone National Park. You’re sweating it out in the company of friends. But whoever said that might have to reword his statement when it comes to flying commercial flights. Hours in a cramped space can certainly get to you, even with all the entertainment available, not to mention the phobia of sitting next to some stranger you don’t know anything about.
And yet, you may have to learn to deal with all that if you’re to keep up with your jet-setting lifestyle. Top of the ordeal list, of course, is having jet lag. When you’re in a long-haul flight crossing several time zones, your body’s internal circadian rhythms can go haywire. And with that, your best shot at being productive and having fun.
Fortunately, you need not be a slave to jet lag’s energy-sapping ability. Instead, you can get back on your feet with tried-and-tested techniques to fight altitude sickness. To make the most of your globe-trotting activity to the fullest.
Let There Be Light
International travel seems a bit on the downside these days, with the virus still a major threat. But 2021 may bring back the old glory days when you can have a shot at being just about anywhere on the planet. Already, Qantas Airways Ltd., Australia’s top carrier, is predicting July as the time when international flights will be back to normal, specifically pre-COVID normal. With the vaccine out, that may be logical enough.
When it comes to jet lag, know that for centuries, our circadian rhythms are hard-wired to be dependent on a solar day. That means daylight dictates our sleeping patterns more than anything else. And this can be a cause for alarm. As you may know by now, it’s harder to fly east than fly west. Why? Simply because when you travel east, the days are shortened (they’re ahead in time zones), while traveling west extends your days. That certainly puts your circadian rhythm out of order.
But a good technique to fight jet lag is by orienting yourself to the sun. Step outside if the sun is still up when you arrive. Take time to look at the sky (not directly to the sun). That allows your body to get accustomed to the new time zone. Moreover, the next morning, do the same routine. Step out as soon as you wake up so your body can adjust accordingly.
Massage to Reset the Clock
You may not have thought of it before, but massage can go a long way in defeating the ill effects of jet lag. Of course, finding an expert massage therapist is a must. The right hands can give your body the healing it needs to fight the torments of long flights.
Take note that a good massage is a great way to reset your body’s circadian rhythms. Moreover, it is a proven method to resolve mental and physical tensions that accumulate during long flights.
Plus, there are unique massage routines that can help regulate your sleep patterns. Even better, they can flush out the unhealthy accumulation of toxins in your body.
Melatonin Is In
Science has proven how melatonin can help get your body to sleep. Viewed as the sleep hormone, melatonin is produced naturally by our body. But you could take one in pill form to induce sleep.
In fact, you can use melatonin to aid your brain. Taking a small amount of it (about 3 to 5 milligrams) half-hour before you sleep should bid you well. It can ensure you have a good night’s rest.
But you can also take melatonin in the morning. That way, you can trick your brain into thinking you slept longer than you actually have. Just be careful, though. As being exposed to bright light may trigger your brain to stay awake, you must do your best to avoid exposure to glaring skins before you go to sleep.
Additionally, you should hydrate as often as possible when flying long-hauls. Know that jet lag is also a result of your body dehydrating. Airplanes are pressurized (6900 ft above sea level), putting people in a water deficit without even realizing it. The solution is simple. Drink water more often. You can carry a cup with you always or a bottle as a reminder.
Technology to the Rescue
What’s more, you can max on technology while flying from one time zone to another. Smart sleep masks such as GlotoSleep Mask can give you dimming light to prod you to sleep. Then there’s Neuroon, a smart sleep mask that’s a world’s first.
And yes, don’t forget to adjust your watch to the destination time zone before you board the plane. When you think strategically, you can put the effects of jet lag to the utmost minimum, increasing your chances of fun and adventure in a faraway land to the utmost maximum.