How to Adjust for Jet Lag

Have you ever been on a flight that lasted several hours? When you travel between time zones at a rapid pace, your body needs a lot of time to adjust. The biggest effect that flying can have on your body is jet lag. This will make you feel tired, exhausted, and probably a little grumpy. But you can prepare for jet lag ahead of time by taking some precautionary measures.

How to Adjust for Jet Lag

Today, your local sleep doctor in New York City will show you how to adjust for jet lag using a few simple tips and tricks. Once your sleep schedule falls out of routine, your body starts to suffer some serious negative effects. Here are some ways you can start adjusting so you don’t suffer from a sleep imbalance.

What Causes Jet Lag?

First, let’s figure out what causes the body to get so jet-lagged when you travel. Going between time zones forces your body to adjust faster than your circadian rhythms can, making it hard for your sleep schedule to catch up.

Interestingly enough, people in the United States get more jet lag while traveling east than when traveling west. This is because it is harder to advance your sleep schedule than to delay it when trying to adjust for upcoming travel plans.

Symptoms of Jet Lag

Jet lag is a temporary sleeping disorder that affects you after you travel across time zones. Since it disrupts the nature of your circadian rhythms, you may end up with symptoms such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Early waking
  • Stomach and eating problems
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • General feelings of being unwell

The more you travel, the worse your symptoms can get. If you have a big trip coming up and you are worried about sleep changes affecting your mood and your health, you need to take some precautionary measures. There are some ways you can prepare for jet lag so it doesn’t hit you as hard.

Adjusting for Jet Lag

No matter which direction you are flying in or how many time zones you are crossing, it is important to prepare your body for this sudden shift. The only way to prevent your circadian rhythms from falling out of order is to gradually adjust them to the change. Here are some suggestions to start with:

Adjust Sleep Before Your Trip

In the days before you travel, adjust your body to a new sleep schedule. Set your alarm clock to the time zone of your destination and go to sleep earlier – or later – to get your body used to this new time. When you actually arrive, the change in time zones won’t feel as jarring.

Drink Water

Make sure to stay hydrated with plenty of fluids. If you are dehydrated during your trip, it will be so much harder for your body to catch up to a new sleep schedule. In addition, you can take melatonin to reset your body’s internal clock and get to sleep faster.

Spend Time Outdoors

The bright light of day is another good way to reset your body’s sleep clock. Go outside and get some exercise during the day, and go for a walk as soon as you wake up in the morning. Invest in regular habits that will help your body feel awake and tired at the correct times.

Care for Your Circadian Rhythms with Sleep Medicine

Once your circadian rhythms are thrown off, it can be hard to get them back on track. Patients who consistently feel jet-lagged after traveling should seek out circadian rhythm disorders treatment ASAP. Get in touch with your local experts at Sleep MD NYC to learn more about maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. Your mental and physical well-being depends on regular sleep patterns more than you know!

Sleep test now avaialble-click viewx