Saint Augustine reportedly said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel…
How to Get Over Jet Lag
Everybody has heard of jet lag, and many have had the displeasure of experiencing it. If you’ve ever taken that big vacation where you’ve flown for hours, and you crossed over what feels like a dozen time zones, then you are quite familiar with the horrors of jet lag.
Also known as jet disorder, jet lag occurs when a traveler’s internal clock (also known as one’s circadian rhythm) is severely out of sync with the actual time of day. The main, unfortunate symptom of jet lag is complete exhaustion. Let’s say your flight took off at ten o’clock am. After nearly eight hours of flying, the plane touches down, and you’re ready to get to your hotel and crash. You check the time, and it’s—EIGHT-THIRTY AM?!
You’ve just gotten off of a flight, and you’re totally exhausted, but in this new, exotic locale, the day is just starting! Well, no problem, you think. You can just go to your hotel, snooze, get your energy back, and tackle however much of the day is left. So let’s say you do just that. Then, you get back to your hotel after a nice evening and… you can’t sleep a wink.
Now, it should be clarified that jet lag is worse when you are traveling east because you are traveling against the sun, whereas if you are traveling west, it’s getting later as you fly.
6 Tips for Getting Over Jet Lag
The event coordinators and corporate travel planners here at MTI Events are a lot more well-traveled than your average folks, so we know a thing or two about overcoming jet lag. How in the world do you best this fearsome, vacation-ruining foe? Here are our six tips!
1. Avoid Long Naps
In our experience, this one is absolutely key. Although it doesn’t make you feel any better throughout your first day (it probably will make you feel worse because all you’ll want to do is sleep), this is the main way to ensure that your jet lag ends after that first day. Fighting to stay awake and then sleeping when night finally comes will nearly guarantee your adjustment to the local time of wherever you are.
2. Don’t Schedule Anything Important for the First Day
This one goes pretty much hand-in-hand with the last one. Why? Well, to put it simply, you are going to look like you just walked off the set of The Walking Dead the entire time you are fighting the urge to take a nice, long, recuperative nap. So don’t schedule anything important!
If you’re taking this trip for business, then make sure to touch down at least a day before any big meeting you may have. If this vacation is all for pleasure, just use this first day to walk around, see some sights, and get used to the area you’ll be staying in. Trust us, you won’t be in any shape to talk shop at a meeting or fully appreciate the Eiffel Tower.
3. Get Some Sun!
After your long flight, after passing through a seemingly endless number of time zones, you’ve decided to take our advice and… go for a walk for the rest of the day. We know, We know, it’s not pleasant. But you’ve got a friend working for you the whole time. Who? Why, the sun, of course!
It’s been proven time and again that natural light exposure helps to shed the tiredness from your travels. Sunlight is able to do this because the human body begins producing melatonin (the chemical that makes you sleep) as soon as it gets dark. So if it’s bright and sunny out, your body will stop producing melatonin.
4. What About Alcohol and Caffeine?
It’s a valid question, and they aren’t terrible ideas, either. However, due to their both being big disruptors of your sleep pattern, it is important to know when to ingest them. For the first day of your exciting vacation, we would deem it advisable to swear off alcohol altogether. However, if you drink a caffeinated beverage right when you touch down, it may minimize your jet lag enough to get you through your tiring day more comfortably.
And while we’re on the topic of beverages, we cannot stress how important it is to stay hydrated. Sure, that espresso may help get you through the day, but if you don’t keep up with your water intake, you’ll feel like a pile of crumbs.
5. Look into Sleep Aids
Now, this is an interesting one because sleep aids are a great help when it comes to treating your jet lag, but they can also be a great way to prevent jet lag. After keeping yourself awake and busy for what feels like days, if you want to be sure that you get the best sleep possible to kick your jet lag swiftly in the behind, then taking sleep medicines, such as sleeping pills or melatonin supplements, would be a good idea before diving into your hotel bed.
On the other hand, you could also try taking either of these after your plane takes off. This may result in restful sleep that lasts the duration of the flight so that you’re raring to go when your plane touches down.
6. Get Some Good Sleep
Last, but certainly not least on this list, would be to set yourself up for the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had. When you’ve crossed multiple time zones and you’re battling a sleep disorder so formidable as jet lag, you need uninterrupted rest (once the time is right) to really give it the ol’ heave-ho.
Not sure how to do this? Well, maybe you sleep better with white noise, or maybe you need to wear a sleep mask or make sure the fan is on; maybe you’ll take those sleep aids right about now!
It doesn’t matter how you do it, just make your hotel room as similar to your own bedroom as possible to ensure you get the best sleep possible. And you know what that means, as loathe as you are to admit it: NO SCREENS. We’re serious. If you want to be extra sure that you aren’t yawning and miserable for the rest of your precious trip, set your phone on the other side of the room on your first night. You’ll thank yourself later.
Reward Your Employees with MTI Events’s Travel Incentive Programs!
Travel incentives have been proven time and again to be the greatest of rewards for your hard-working employees. Giving your teams something so fun and relaxing to work towards boosts sales and benefits company culture! But planning a vacation takes a lot of work. From booking flights to securing a place to stay to planning activities, our many dedicated representatives have got you covered.
Contact MTI Events today to pick from our wide array of services, such as individual incentives and team travel incentives, or we can even help plan special events or meetings! Give us a call at (913) 521-8680 if you have any questions.