Jet lag is so prevalent and annoying that I want to devote this blog to the subject. I went home for a visit and was determined not to let jet lag ruin the trip. I have experienced it many times before and it obliterates me for at least a few days. It is a total waste of a vacation.
We all know about jet lag, but not always how to deal with it. It is simply a time zone change syndrome that occurs when you travel from east to west, or west to east in an airplane. It is a physiological condition that seems to happen to most everyone. It upsets the body’s daily circadian rhythms and is seen medically as a disorder. What I didn’t realize is that jet lag symptoms are more severe when a traveler takes a voyage from the west.
Even the most experienced road warrior who has racked up thousands of frequent flier miles has suffered from jet lag. The farther you venture from home, the greater the symptoms. Basically, it interrupts sound sleep. It is not a state of mind and needs a remedy. Your natural biological clock goes haywire when your trip takes you to different time zones. To create a realistic picture, let me tell you that the rhythms of the bo9dy entail rise and fall of body temperature, plasma levels and those of certain hormones. It is a real biological condition. The amount of sunlight you get in a 24-hour cycle matters.
If you have jet lag and can’t fall asleep or wake up at your regular time, you need help. Some people take medications like melatonin and others like me use a sunrise alarm . I try to be careful with my flight schedule, but sometimes I don’t have a choice. It helps to nap on the plane if you can. I read that you should arrive in the early evening and stay up until ten local time. I also don’t drink on the plane or indulge in coffee at least three to four hours before normal bedtime. They are known stimulants and harm your ability to fall asleep. It helps to change my watch to the new time zone when first boarding the plane.
When I arrive at my final destination and am in my hotel, I set up the sunrise alarm to gently wake me up at the right time in the morning. Most people resort to blaring alarms but I find them too aggressive. Arising to pretty colors that simulate the most beautiful sunrise is a better choice by far. I can also choose natural sounds like birds, waves, or waterfalls. You can program your favorite music as well. I usually do this once I have acclimated in my new location. Among all the professional suggestions for coping with jet lag, a special wake up alarm light is the one to heed first and foremost.