By: Ana Margarita Olar | Pinoytrekker.com
A long haul flight can be exhausting. You may experience cramped spaces, lack of space, and dehydration. Another thing that can add to this misery is the jetlag right after the travel.
A jetlag is a physical reaction to a rapid change in time zones. It is characterized by insomnia, fatigue, disorientation, headache, and general malaise. Even the experienced pilots and flight attendants experience jetlags while traveling.
Here are some tips on how to deal with jetlag:
PLAN YOUR FLIGHTS
If possible, plan your flights so that you arrive at your destination during the daytime. After a long haul flight and altered sleeping and waking cycle, you will stay awake when you arrive so it’s much better if you arrived at day time.
PREPARE YOUR BODY
Take care of your body before traveling. Eat well, sleep well, engage in physical workouts, and avoid alcoholic drinks. Hangover plus jetlag is not a god idea.
ADJUST YOUR HABIT
Few days before traveling, try to adjust your habit with the time zone on your area of destination. Wear two watches so you can adjust with the difference in time.
Go to bed a little later than your usual routine. Then wake up a little earlier than your usual waking time.
STAY HYDRATED BUT AVOID CAFFEINE AND ALCOHOL DURING THE FLIGHT
Drink a lot of water on board to keep you hydrated. An alcoholic drink is a bad idea. Alcohol plus altitude equals exhaustion. It can also cause dehydration; which can worsen your jetlag symptoms upon arrival.
Caffeine and sugar loaded drinks doesn’t do good either. Coffee, cola and energy drinks can affect your sleep patterns. So sticking with water is the best idea.
KEEP MOVING DURING THE FLIGHT
Walk and move around while on board. Do simple exercises such as stretching, toe raises, knee circles, and even squats. This will ensure blood flow all over the body.
This will prevent blood pooling on your lower extremities, due to prolonged sitting.
ADJUST YOUR HABIT UPON ARRIVAL
Eat three regular meals upon arrival, to adjust yourself to the new time zone. This can be done little by little. If you want to adjust yourself, start with the meals.
USE THE POWER OF SUNSHINE
Go out and walk around in early in the morning. Daylight and exercise can reduce the symptoms of jetlag. It also allows your body’s inner clock to adjust to the new time zone.
ADJUST YOUR SLEEPING PATTERN
Try to get as much sleep as you would in a normal day. You can also nap during the midday to make up for lost hours of sleep.
There are also certain diets and medications to combat jetlag. Remember, this is a normal reaction of our body to a shift in time zone. So we just have to adjust our habits and activities to deal with it.