Did you know that nearly 93% of travelers will experience jet lag at some point during their travels? While many think jet lag is caused by a lack of sleep, it’s actually a psychological condition caused by a disturbance to the body’s natural circadian rhythm. It’s most commonly triggered by flying across different time zones and can result in a variety of symptoms, from fatigue to anxiety to nausea and more.
Jet lag usually lasts a few days and because it affects everyone differently, travelers find their own ways to deal with the condition. However, if you’re not used to jet lag, our Bradley Airport parking company has a few things you can try to combat it:
Before You Travel
Adjust Your Sleep Schedule
When you travel across time zones, the time you usually go to bed will change. For example: if you usually go to bed at 10 p.m. and you travel from California to Pennsylvania, your natural bedtime would be 1 a.m. If you travel from California to Japan, your natural bedtime would be 2 p.m. (the next day). This can be incredibly confusing for your body, which is why adjusting your sleep schedule before you leave can help.
Begin a couple weeks before your departure and move your bedtime by 30 minutes each night (either earlier or later, depending on the direction you’re flying). This can help your body adjust to the time difference ahead of time.
Water is a miraculous help in many different health situations (after all, our bodies are made up of around 60% water). Do yourself a favor and stay hydrated in the days before you leave for your trip and during your trip. Water can help you focus better, sleep longer, and stay healthy. Just be sure to stay away from too much caffeine or alcohol, both of which can dehydrate you.
As You Travel
Synchronize with Natural Light
One of the main reasons your body is so confused during jet lag is because it relies on natural light as an indicator of when to go to sleep and when to wake up. While you’re at your destination, you can help your body naturally adjust by synchronizing it with natural light. If traveling east, limit your light exposure in the morning and try to get more in the afternoon and evening; if traveling west, get more exposure in the morning and limit it in the afternoon and evening.
After You Travel
Sleep When It’s Dark
After you get back from a long flight, it’s tempting to want to take a nap. However, as our Bradley Airport parking company mentioned above, natural light can help your body adjust to time differences, so save the sleep for when it gets dark out. In addition, don’t sleep in after you return from your trip. Instead, wake up with the sun to help readjust yourself to your normal schedule.
Do you have a way to combat jet lag that works for you? We’d love to hear it! In the meantime, don’t forget to make a parking reservation with Z Airport Parking the next time you fly out of Bradley Airport.