How to combat jet lag
Our body clock is very important. You may have heard of circadian rhythm: the natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats every 24 hours. It is so important that the scientists who discovered the molecular mechanisms underlying the circadian rhythm were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2017.
What is jet lag?
Indeed, when our circadian rhythm is disrupted, we might experience a range of physical and mental symptoms like difficulty sleeping at night or waking up in the morning, poor sleep quality and concentration issues.
This is jet lag.
Basically, a very confused internal clock.
The confusion arises from the fact the travelling changes the ways your body measures your internal clock (telling you when it’s time to sleep, eat, wake up) by daylight, your temperature and hormones levels. For example, if you are flying to the French Riviera for your superyacht charter holiday, you might arrive and feel jetlagged. It is totally normal. When flying long distances and changing several time zones, jet lag cannot be prevented.
However, there are strategies you adopt to reduce its effects. Here are 5 tips on how to get over your jet lag symptoms.
1. Plan your flight schedule
If possible, you should schedule your travel itinerary according to your sleep cycle. Or another useful tip is to adjust to your destination time zone already while flying (for example, sleep when it is night at your destination). You can use an eye mask and earplugs to help you sleep.
2. Adjust to your new time zone as quickly as possible
Once you have arrived at the destination for your superyacht charter holiday or private retreat, try to adjust to the new time zone as quickly as possible.
You should set an alarm to avoid oversleeping in the morning. And go outside during the day: the natural light will help your body clock adjust to the new day/light cycle.
And what’s better than the beautiful, sunny French Riviera to recover from your flight while breathing in a beautiful Mediterranean sunset?
3. Drink plenty of water
Long-distance travel can cause dehydration. Hydration is crucial when it comes to jet lag (and always!). It helps manage the symptoms and decrease travel fatigue.
On the other hand, you should avoid caffeine and alcohol because they have a stimulating effect that can make jet lag symptoms worse.
4. Eat well
Although there is no diet that can prevent jet lag, try to avoid a heavy dinner before going to sleep for the first few days because this can disrupt your sleep further
Your body naturally syntheses melatonin to conciliate sleep.
However, melatonin is also available as a supplement that can help you fall asleep at night. Always check with your doctor before using it to ensure you are taking the right dose.
For frequent fliers and international travellers, jet lag is normal and very common. The good news is that it will go away in a few days.
The rule of thumb is that you need one day per each time zone that you’ve crossed. Therefore, if you’ve crossed 4 time zones to get the French Riviera, you’ll be feeling perfectly fine in 4 days.