How to Cope with Jetlag

Frequent fliers are far too familiar with the symptoms of jetlag which include change in the sleep cycle, daytime dizziness, headache, nausea and fatigue. Jetlag occurs because your body struggles to adjust to the sudden change in time zone. So, if you’re travelling from Mumbai to New York, and arrive in New York at midnight, your body continues to operate on IST. According to WebMD, jet lag is usually worse if you’re travelling from West to East. While you may not be able to ward off jetlag completely, there are a few simple ways to cope with it and still enjoy your travel.

Pre Travel

  • Prepare yourself for the journey a few days in advance. Adjust your schedule according to your destination. Gradually change your bedtime and sync it with your destination. However, avoid big planning for trips that don’t last for more than 72 hours
  • Your diet impacts your sleep quality, which is why it’s important to ensure you eat healthy days before your departure. Avoid caffeine 18 hours before your trip

During Travel

  • While travelling, manage your sleep well (including naps) so that once you’re on ground, you can acclimatise easily
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration makes it difficult for your body to adjust to the new circadian rhythm
  • Avoid in-flight alcohol or other beverages that might affect your sleep patterns
  • If you have a stopover, stretch your muscles and walk a little, before you board the flight

Post Travel

  • If you arrive in the morning, it’s best to absorb as much sunlight as you can. Natural light is a way to tell your body to stop producing melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleep).
  • Avoid medicines unless prescribed by a doctor.
  • Take a shower, drink a juice and walk around till sunset and go to the hotel in the evening

Your health is the most important asset you have and it’s important you pay due importance to it. Medical insurance is a great support, however, forewarned, as they say, is forearmed.

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