If you’re a frequent traveler, you know exactly what jet lag feels like: you land in a different time zone and you’re hit by fatigue, yet can’t sleep in your new location. Jet lag, otherwise known as jet lag disorder, can affect anyone. It happens when your ‘body clock’ is still in sync with your old time zone, causing a bit of confusion in regards to when you should sleep and when you should be awake. Though temporary, jet lag can affect your ability to enjoy the first few hours or days in a new setting.
Although people experience jet lag differently, some of the most common symptoms are insomnia, excessive sleepiness, mood changes, and fatigue during the day, and problems concentrating. In general, jet lag hinders your ability to function at your usual capacity. While most people who travel across time zones are likely to experience jet lag to some extent, there are ways to minimize its effects and even prevent it altogether. Here are some ways to make sure that you are in top form the moment you arrive at your destination – from using a buckwheat travel pillow or millet hulls pillow for better sleep, to training your body to adjust.
Start before you leave
Prepare for your travels by slightly and gradually adjusting your schedule a few days or weeks before your departure. If you are traveling to a place with a time zone ahead of yours, start sleeping earlier than usual so your body can adjust. If the time zone is behind yours, try to sleep a little later than usual. You can also restructure your meal times so they align with the times you’ll be eating at your destination. These small adjustments can reprogram your body clock so you are in sync with your new location.
Prepare for your trip by resting
General fatigue can make jet lag feel a lot worse than it is. Invest in quality sleep before and during your trip so that you aren’t dealing with jet lag on top of regular tiredness. Prioritize sleep long before the day of departure, as well as on your flight. Sleeping during the flight, however, is only recommended if it is night time where you are going. If it is day time, try not to.
Investing in a buckwheat travel pillow for your flight will provide support for your neck, spine and head, making it easier to fall asleep and enjoy hours of rest on your way. This is also crucial to preventing neck and back pain, which can exacerbate the symptoms of jet lag.
The same amount of effort should be put into resting before your flight. A millet hulls pillow is a slightly less firm alternative to a buckwheat pillow, making it appropriate as an everyday pillow for bed. It is easy to adjust and, most importantly, promotes deep and healthy sleep in preparation for your travels.
Stay on schedule
This is partly an act of willpower. When you reach your destination, try to save your sleep for night time. If it is day time when you arrive, resist the urge to take a nap, no matter how tired you are. Conversely, if it is night time, try your best to get some sleep. This forces your body clock to adjust as quickly as possible.