Jet lag is a common occurrence that can disrupt your normal day-to-day life. But, it's not just an inconvenience. Jet lag affects the immune system, cognitive function, and sleep patterns, leading to irritability, tiredness, anxiety, and depression. Therefore, it’s important to change what you do before traveling and during the flight itself to overcome jet lag quickly. Simple steps like getting enough sleep the days before your flight and using a melatonin supplement can make all the difference in your upcoming trip.
An Overview of Jet Lag
Jet lag can put a damper on any business trip or holiday getaway. It is an ailment that comes with crossing time zones, and it can affect everything from your cognitive function to your immune system.
Symptoms of Jet Lag
- Disturbed sleep
- Sleepiness during the day
- Problems concentrating
- Gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or constipation
- Mood changes
- A general feeling of unease
Risk Factors for Jet Lag
Not everyone that travels will experience jet lag. Instead, certain conditions make it more likely, such as
- Traveling across one or more time zones
- Not drinking enough water during your flight
- Flying east
- Age (It's more challenging to recover from jet lag as you get older)
Tips to Avoid Jet Lag
clearly, you can't completely avoid jet lag if you have to travel. However, there are ways to reduce it and recover faster.
You might be able to stay awake during the day after traveling by spending as much time in the sun as possible. The light helps regulate your melatonin levels and prevents the body from releasing the natural sleep chemical too soon.
Getting Enough Sleep Before Traveling
It's essential to keep your sleep cycle on track before you leave. Try going to bed at your local time for one or two nights before you travel. This will help counteract the body's response to traveling across different time zones. The symptoms come from the disruption of the circadian rhythm, which is also known as the body's internal clock. This system controls your wake-sleep cycle.
When you travel to a different location where the time of day is significantly different, it throws everything off. For example, you might not notice a difference when traveling from the eastern standard time zone to the central standard. However, flying from New York to LA at nine pm can cause a disruption because of the three-hour difference.
By keeping your regular schedule a few days before traveling and when you return, you'll help return your body's clock to normal and feel better faster.
Use a Melatonin Sleeping Pen
Jet lag is an unavoidable part of air travel for some people and destinations. However, you can take steps before traveling to reduce the impact it has on your next few days. Along with getting to sleep at the same time several nights in a row before your trip, consider the sleeping pen from Melo Air. A few puffs of the pen is much easier than taking melatonin supplements. For more information about our diffusers, go here.