How to Get Over Jet Lag
If you frequently undertake business travel, you are undoubtedly familiar with jet lag – that fatigued, sluggish feeling. Jet lag is actually a sleep disorder that is caused by an imbalance of your body’s clock, or circadian rhythm; a result of flying over several different time zones. Generally, it takes one day for every hour of time change for your body to get over jet lag. Most corporate travellers do not have the luxury of letting their body catch up and need to know how to get over jet lag before it even starts. Typically, business travel requires you to fly in one day, conduct your meeting the next and fly out the same day or the day after. This leaves your body wondering when it will get back in balance.
Typical Jet Lag Symptoms Experienced in Business Travel
- Insomnia or an inability to sleep.
- Fatigue during daytime hours.
- Difficulty focusing or functioning as you would typically.
- Mood swings.
- Overall feeling of not being well.
Tips for Avoiding Jet Lag
- Adjust your sleep several days before your business travel. If you are flying east, get up earlier and go to bed earlier. If you are flying west, get up later and stay up later.
- Work with travel management advisors to schedule flights that arrive in the early evening rather than the early morning. They work with airfare specialists and know how to find the best flights that work with your schedule and your budget.
- When you board the plane set your watch to the time of your destination. It helps prepare you psychologically.
- If possible, try to get some sleep on the plane.
How to Get Over Jet Lag
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine and chocolate about 3-4 hours before bedtime. These could negatively impact your sleep.
- Keep hydrated, drinking plenty of water.
- Avoid large meals upon arrival.
- Stay away from heavy exercise before sleep. But do walk around and do some stretching to get your endorphins moving.
- Get out in the sun as much as possible – sun actually helps regulate the circadian rhythm.
- For those technology-savvy travellers, Re-Timer glasses have been said to help with jetlag. The glasses emit a green light that stimulates the brain to recalculate your body clock.
There are also two other syndromes that affect those on business travel: “first night effect“ and “on-call effect“. It is typically difficult to get to sleep on the first night of a trip; a different bed, strange noises and other disruptions. The on-call effect is worrying about something you may have forgotten, such as how to make your presentation and other such worries and fears related to the purpose of your business travel. Be prepared for these to sneak their way into your system as well. Make every effort to make your hotel room seem more like home and more comfortable for a good night’s sleep. Set up a wake-up call to make sure you don’t sleep through your meeting. Be prepared for your meetings so you can go in relaxed and feeling ready.
Be smart, travel smart. Rest up before you leave, stay hydrated, get some sun and eat light. Don’t forget to take advantage of your travel management team to make the most of your itinerary and budget so you can travel with ease. With these tips in your back pocket, you will have an easier time adjusting and be better prepared to conduct your business travel. Fly safe, fly happy!
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