How to beat a jetlag - eight tips from sleep specialists
Jetlag, which air passengers experience after changing several time zones, can completely ruin the trip and completely knock it out of its usual state. You suddenly wake up in the middle of the night or, on the contrary, you can not get up for dinner, and all day and night you feel disgusting for a whole week.
Fortunately, sleep specialists have found methods to deal with the jetlag, which will make it less terrible for you. The main cause of jetlag is the influence of external factors, such as food or bright light, on the sleep cycle of your body.
We offer you eight tips from experts who will allow you to switch to using the correct sleep mode.
1. How to relax before the trip
Since you have to sleep less while traveling, it is advisable to rest before it starts. Otherwise, an additional factor in the form of lack of sleep will be added to the jetlag.
How can you understand if you have enough of the usual sleep mode? If you most often fall asleep within five minutes after you lay down, this may be an obvious sign of lack of sleep.
2. Before long journeys, adjust the internal clock
If you plan for some long time to be in a different time zone, you can start to rebuild before the trip.
According to a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Christopher Colwell, who is studying daily biorhythms, this will give you a noticeable advantage by the time you get to your place of stay.
Go to bed and wake up a little earlier or a little later - depending on which direction you are traveling. Go to the west - lie down and get up later, to the east - on the contrary, earlier.
3. Drink plenty of water on the plane.
Jetlag is not the only reason why people get sick after a flight. As Joseph Stromberg explains, low oxygen and dry air in airplanes can also have a negative effect.
That is why experts recommend drinking more water before and during the flight (try to avoid dehydrating alcoholic beverages and caffeine-containing beverages), walk along the cabin of the aircraft to improve blood circulation and increase the level of oxygen entering the brain, and, if possible, take a pill aspirin on the day before departure and on the day of the trip, which also has a positive effect on blood circulation.
4. With short trips with jetlag you can not fight
In order to reorganize to a new sleep mode, your body needs several days. So, if you are going somewhere for just a few days, you may not even have to adapt to a different time zone, says Christopher Colwell. Then returning home will be much easier.
It is enough just to adjust the so-called light parameters, since the light is the main signal that influences your sleep. This means that you need to correlate the bright daylight in a different time zone in your city.
For example, if you flew from New York to Los Angeles, during your trip, try to go for a walk early in California time, when it is noon in New York, and vice versa, try to avoid bright lights in California in the evening, when New York is already night. California travelers traveling in the opposite direction are preferable to stay indoors in the morning in New York.
5. For long rides, use light time.
If you are trying to adjust to a different time zone, try to get as much light as possible during the day, especially in the morning. Remember that being outdoors in light time is usually better for your brain than if you are indoors (even on an overcast day).
In addition, it is desirable to limit the light load at bedtime, including from the screens of computers and televisions. If you want to customize the perfect graph of the use of light time, you can use the application Entrain.
6. Adjust your diet and workouts for yourself
Some experiments, including mice, have shown that food intake causes changes in insulin levels, which, in turn, affects the biorhythms of your body. Therefore, try to adjust the diet for themselves, regardless of where you stay.
For example, if you usually have breakfast at eight in the morning in New York, have breakfast at the same eight in the morning in London.
The same goes for exercise, says Christopher Colwell. In the end, your body is not predisposed to training in the middle of the night. So it is better to schedule such things for a time that you yourself consider best for yourself.
7. Melatonin before bed can help
When traveling from west to east, it will be more difficult for you to fall asleep, because your body will not be ready for bed yet. If you have this problem, you can take a melatonin pill at bedtime. This is a hormone that is a regulator of daily rhythms. Melatonin tablets to facilitate sleep are sold without a prescription in most pharmacies. Because US authorities consider melatonin a dietary supplement, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not add it to the list of medicinal drugs.
However, melatonin can help. The nine studies that went into Cochrane Review, showed that people taking from 0,5 to 5 mg of melatonin at bedtime experienced fewer symptoms of jetlag than those who took sedatives.
8. Be careful with caffeine
The temptation to drink a cup of coffee or a glass of soda to invigorate is great. But we must remember that the use of caffeine at the end of the day can keep you awake at night.
It takes about six hours for your body to get rid of at least half of all the caffeine you have consumed. Be careful with caffeine-containing drinks during the day, especially if you have just flown from west to east.
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