Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tis The Season of Jetlag

Aircraft, Jumbo Jet, Airliner, Sky  We are heading into Thanksgiving and Christmas.  A time when families travel across the country to be home with family.  For some, its only an hour or two away but for others it may require several hours of jet travel from one coast to the other.

It is easier to travel west due to longer days than to head east.  Since I live in Alaska, I often leave on a flight just after midnight or arrive at midnight.

There are ways to minimize jet lag including prepare some ahead of time. 

1.  Take a few days off prior to the trip to relax.  The more relaxed you are, the less jet lag. If you work up to the day before you leave, you are going to be a bit more stressed.

2. Try to get a good nights sleep the night before leaving so you are able to cope with jet lag better.  I"m one of those people who seldom sleep well the night before because my mind insists on going over lists to make sure I have everything packed.

3. Try to arrive during the daylight hours because its easier to stay awake.  Even when I arrive during day light hours, I end up taking a short nap to readjust.  I have never been able to arrive and stay awake for several more hours.

4. The plane can make a difference too.  Look for A350 and A380's because they have hi tech humidification systems designed to keep moisture in the air and have great LED lighting.

5.  If at all possible, break the trip up with at least one stop over to help your body have an easier time of adjusting.  The last time I went to Europe, I stopped off in Iceland for three days before continuing to Finland.  The break would have helped except my scheduled flight was cancelled and I ended up on one which got me there around 4AM.

6. Try to avoid alcohol due to its dehydrating effects and it increases tiredness.

7.  Do not use sleeping pills with the idea you will sleep through the flight so you arrive in better shape.  All they do is make you wake up fuzzy and do not help with jet lag.

8. It is much better to drink water rather than coffee, soda, or energy drinks because they usually have high levels of caffeine which affects your ability to sleep and increases your jet lag.

9.  When you board the flight, change your watch to the new time zone so you have a chance to psychologically adjust.

10. Exercise during the flight to boost endorphins and stretch out.  A quick search will yield exercises you can do in your seat.

If all else fails, take a nap when you get there and do not plan to do any site seeing during the first 24 hours so you have time to catch up on sleep and adjust. Let me know what you think.  Have a great day. 

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