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Fall Travel: Six Tips to Avoid Jet Lag

We all look forward to our travel excursions, but along with all the fun, relaxation and sightseeing some less pleasant things may hinder the overall experience – like jet lag.

Jet lag is a common occurrence that affects most travelers, especially those crossing multiple time zones. It disturbs the body’s internal clock and can wreak havoc on your system just when you’re planning to make the best of your travel experience. Its main symptom is the disruption of your sleep patterns, leading to sleepiness during the day and an inability to fall asleep at your normal time of night. It can also lead to headaches and cause irregularities in your bowel movements – which can most definitely put a damper on the excitement of a much needed getaway).

Luckily, there are some steps that can be taken to lessen the effects of jet lag.

Hotspots offers these 6 tips:

Adjust your schedule beforehand

One of the best ways to mitigate the symptoms of jet lag is to modify your schedule before you leave. By moving your sleep pattern to one that lines up with the time zone of your destination, your mind and body will already be prepared and ready to take on the day once you arrive. It’s also important to ensure you have proper rest ahead of a flight; lack of sleep will only exacerbate the situation. 

Plan a stop over 

Planning a stopover, especially on a very long flight, may help you adjust and give your body a chance to acclimate to the situation. A pit stop will give you a chance to relieve stress and move around a bit after being confined to an uncomfortable seat. If you choose to nap, keep it brief; too much sleep on or in between flights will only contribute to jet lag. 

Go early

If you have an important event to attend upon your arrival it may be beneficial to plan an earlier flight or perhaps land a day before to get your bearings in order. This will allow you to get some rest and deal with any pesky headaches before you make that presentation or embark on a thrilling adventure.

Light exposure

Light plays a major role in regulating your body’s internal clock. Be cool and grab your shades. Wear them at the airport during the nighttime hours in your home city. This will trick your mind and body to think it’s dark out and possibly allow you to catch some Zzzs on the flight, if necessary.

Stay hydrated

How many times have you found yourself fatigued and out of breath and noticed your mouth is completely dry? The importance of drinking water cannot be overestimated. Dehydration will only make the effects of jet lag worse. Be sure to keep hydrated and eat small healthy meals during your flights. 

Arrival plans

Plan a stimulating but low effort activity – especially if you are arriving in the morning at your destination. This way you will be able to stay awake longer. This writer, for example, flew to Paris and arrived in the morning, so she planned to drop off her bags and go straight to the Eiffel Tower. The glorious sight woke her up and all of the stairs kept her engaged and active.

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