I know lots of people love travelling, but travelling to a new time zone can result in jet lag. Personally I did so much business travelling in my late 20's and then in my 30's I travelled for pleasure, that more recently I have been happy to stay put in England and simply pop over to Europe when I wanted some sun. This year I am planing to go on a training course in Canada so when I saw some recent research on avoiding jet lag it caught my eye.
Jet lag occurs when your circadian rhythms are slow to adjust to the new time zone and remain on their original biological schedule for several days. This results in your body telling you it is time to sleep, when it's actually the middle of the afternoon, or it makes you want to stay awake when it is late at night.
Here are some tips for minimizing the occurrence of jet lag:
Select a flight that allows early evening arrival and stay up until 10 p.m. local time. (If you must sleep during the day, take a short nap in the early afternoon, but no longer than two hours. Set an alarm to be sure not to over sleep.)
Avoid alcohol or caffeine at least three to four hours before bedtime. Both act as "stimulants" and prevent sleep.
Try to get outside in the sunlight whenever possible. Daylight is a powerful stimulant for regulating the biological clock. (Staying indoors worsens jet lag.)
On the flight set the time on your watch to the local time of your destination so you can mentally start adjusting to the new time zone.
When you arrive eat with the locals.
Traditionally people have just slept off jet lag. Recently university researchers in Surrey tested their theory that instead of sleeping, you should start eating meals at the same time as the locals. They tested the theory on 60 long haul cabin crew workers, who either ate meals regularly on their days off in the destination city or followed no meal plan and ate when they felt like it. Although both groups suffered some jet lag, the symptoms were less severe among those who followed a regular meal plan based on the local time. They were also more alert.
Cristina Ruscitto, Jane Ogden. The impact of an implementation intention to improve meal times and reduce jet lag in long-haul cabin crew. Psychology & Health, 2016; 1 DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2016.1240174