When you get to your destination, try to spend some time outdoors in the sunshine. Sunlight influences the body’s internal rhythms. Sunlight exposure is known to help the body better adjust to a time difference.
Jet lag happens when your body’s normal rhythm and patterns for doing things, like sleeping and eating, in your normal time zone are out of sync with your destination time zone. As a result, when you first arrive in a different time zone, you may feel ready for bed during daytime hours or hungry at odd times of the day and night. Symptoms of jet lag include nausea, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, and insomnia.
Although it usually does not take too long to adjust to a new time zone, it can take a a day or two for some people. Unfortunately, for those of us in our seasoned years, jet lag can hit older travelers a little harder than younger travelers. In most cases, however, jet lag does not require medical treatment. If, however, you experience severe symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Here are a few suggestions that may help prevent jet lag or reduce its effects:
Sleep on the plane if you are flying during what would be nighttime hours in your destination time zone. But, if it would be daytime where you are headed, try to resist the urge to sleep.
Move around as best you can during the flight. If possible, choose an aisle seat so you can get up and walk a bit from time to time. Moving your body also helps prevent blood clots, which can result from sitting in one position too long.
Gradually adjust to the new time zone before you leave home. Little by little, shift your sleeping and meal times closer to those of your destination. Once you reach your destination, try to sleep and eat according to the local time zone.
Make sure to take good care of yourself before your trip. Eat right, get plenty of sleep, and follow your usual exercise routine. Try to keep the stress of traveling to a minimum by having everything ready ahead of time. Pack early. Organize the items you will need in advance, like your passport, reading materials, preprinted boarding passes, medications, etc.
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight. The air in planes is extremely dry, and dehydration is known to intensify jet lag symptoms. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, because both are dehydrating.