We've all experienced the excitement of travel and the difficulty of jet lag. Jet lag seriously messes with your body clock (circadian rhythm), which is programmed for regular cycles of day and night. Depending on how many time zones you cross, it may take several days to get your internal clock back on schedule. Some symptoms of jet lag include daytime drowsiness, foggy mind, irritability, difficulty concentrating, headaches, trouble sleeping, and swelling in your hands and feet.
Here are some things you can do to deal with jet lag:
- Reset your watch to the time zone you'll be traveling to, so you can mentally prepare your body for the new time.
- The air in the plane cabin can be really dry, which will make you feel sleepy, so drink water throughout the flight. Also avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine right before and during your flight since they'll dehydrate you and mess with your sleep schedules more.
- Walk around and do seated exercises as much as you can to improve your circulation, which will hopefully prevent stiffness and swelling.
- If you're taking a red-eye, make the cabin as dark as you can so you can try to sleep. Wear eye shades and earplugs to help you tune out the activity around you.
- When you arrive in the morning, try to stay awake, and go to sleep at that time zone's normal bedtime. It'll be tough, but you'll get a better night of sleep than if you took a little afternoon cat nap.