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Why do we get Jet lag& How can we Help Beat Jet Lag?
It’s all to do with circadian rhythms or sleep rhythms to you and I. These are our built-in routines, that help us sleep at night and wake up in the morning. There are many reasons your sleep rhythms can get disrupted, shift work, Illness, Alcohol are a few. Another is Air travel, specifically, moving through time zones.
You may well have travelled thousands of miles and when you left it was pitch black and 2am. After 8 hours your body now expects daylight, but guess what, you have arrived and it’s pitch black and it’s 2am. You find it weird but imagine what your body is finding?
Now, your sleep rhythm is really confused. But although there’s no real cure for Jet-lag, there are a number of ways to overcome it so it doesn’t totally impact your holiday or trip.
1. Sleep well before your flight
One one the best ways to Beat Jet Lag is to get as much sleep before the flight as possible. Now we know most people like to sleep on their flight, but really, your just adding to your problems when you arrive. So try to get a good nights sleep instead of lying awake with excitement!
2. Know Your Planes
Some planes such as the A350 & the A380 have better Air conditioning systems than others. They also use high-tech lighting that stimulate phrases of the day. Both of these great innovations help us to beat Jet-lag.
3. Avoid Alcohol
OK, we know this is a toughie for some, but your simply increasing tiredness and causing dehydration, which in turn will keep you awake hours after you stop drinking, leading to the inevitable Jet-lag
4. Avoid Coffee Help Beat Jet Lag
Coffee has Caffeine in it and as such should be avoided before and during your flight. Caffeine is a stimulant and keeps you awake hours after you drink it. So when you should be bedding down for the night after a long flight, your mind will be still awake, even if your body’s tired.
5. Exercise- Even on the Plane
Try to keep your feet moving. DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) is a serious risk to flyers, especially if you’re not moving at all. Try to keep your toes wiggling, raising your heels of the floor in sets of 10. This keeps the blood circulating round the legs. Try to stand up and walk down the aisle of the plane if you can. No one will mind. They will probably be doing it themselves at some point. You could even try a pair of flight socks as they compress the veins helping to improve circulation during the flight.
6. Stay Hydrated Help Beat Jet Lag
Flying can definitely leave you feeling hydrated due to the air conditioning and air pressure. To avoid becoming hydrated drink plenty of water, not Coffee, Tea or diet drinks, but water. This will help offset the effects of Jet-lag
7. Take a nap
Most flight attendants take a nap whilst on a long haul journey, so if it’s what they think is best, you can bet it is. I wouldn’t sleep for long periods, just the odd power nap here and there. There are many studies that show power napping is good for your sleep rhythms, but there also some that disagree. I would do what suits you best, just don’t overdo it.
8. Avoid arriving at night
If possible, try to arrange a flight that arrives in daylight. You will be much more liable to get out and about when you arrive in daylight than you would if it is dark when you arrive.
9. Avoid Sleeping Pills
Ok, I know it’s so easy to take this option, especially if your nervous about the flight. I have myself often wondered if this is the answer, but the fact that Sleeping Pills are terribly addictive is enough for me to say no to them. There are also some reports of them being carcinogenic so best avoided me thinks!
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