I believe managing jet lag is a little like managing a hangover – some people get it more than others, some only under certain conditions or certain drinks. The problem is fairly straightforward to understand, but the execution results vary.
Two weeks ago I had my latest time adjustment, with which normally comes a fair amount of advice and queries from family and friends. I decided to put the top ones down here and also share my experience of them, perhaps you can find some value before your next trip. The top 4 bits of advice given to me are:
#1 – Ignore it
First and foremost are the believers that you simply ignore it and it will go away. Certainly this has some merit, given X days to impact your life, but I find little value here.
#2 – It’s all in your meals
A piece of advice that I feel is starting to touch on more relevant actions one can take, includes the adjustment focus on meal times and sizes. I’m horrid at managing how big or small my meal will be, but definitely it’s possible to try to eat in alignment with the new location.
#3 – Natural light is key
Apparently a study was conducted to observe the impact natural light had on people experiencing jet lag. I’m told the findings proved that the more your exposure to natural light, the faster your internal clock accepts and adjusts to the new environment. This seems a fair assumption in itself, plus it’s a reason to get outside a bit.
#4 – Sleep on the plane (or don’t)
The most common complaints about jet lag obviously revolve around sleep patterns and energy levels. Although the advice works logically when you think to start changing your sleep cycle mid-travel, I’ve only seen a decent result from ‘don’t’ rather than ‘do’. This may also be influenced by the quality of sleep I experience in the air.
And which one from the above do I use? All of them to be honest. Again, as with hangovers, the likely combination of a few elements (mixed with a bit of time) seems to give an honest result. No single action has really delivered in isolation.
Additionally, I’ve found that travel Asia-Africa is quite easy, give or take 4-7 hours of difference you simply do everything a bit earlier than normal. Going Africa-Asia however doesn’t work out as it’s normally not possible to do everything later than normal.
Any additional advice bits would be welcome. I’m always happy to hear what others might suggest, in the hope that something might stick and resonate with me personally as well.
This is part of my A to Z Challenge 2016, click the button at the bottom of the site for more information if you like.