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How to Avoid Jet Lag in 3 Easy Steps

Posted on January 20th, 2021 by Paul Hill

How to Avoid Jet Lag in 3 Easy Steps

Flying across time zones can disrupt your circadian rhythm, the internal clock that regulates your sleep schedule. Until you adjust to the new time zone, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay awake at the appropriate times of day. This difficulty is the primary symptom of jet lag. You can largely avoid jet lag with these three easy steps:

  • Hydrate before, during, and after flying

Staying hydrated can help with everything from brain function to physical performance. Drinking plenty of water can also help you adjust to the local time after air travel. An airplane cabin is a notoriously dry environment, requiring you to increase fluid intake to maintain hydration. Doing so is one of the best ways to avoid jet lag.

  • Adjust your sleep before you leave

It can take a full day to shift our body clock by a single hour. Thus, the number of time zones you cross, the longer it takes to recover. Gradually shifting your sleep schedule in the days leading up to your trip can prevent many of the symptoms of jet lag. This is especially true for traveling east, when you “lose” an hour for each time zone you cross.

  • Get some sun

Exposure to bright lights, especially blue light, sends a signal to your body to stay awake. Around the time we normally fall asleep, our body releases a hormone called melatonin that helps us drift off to sleep. Blue light, which is abundant in sunlight, blocks melatonin. So arriving in the morning to your destination and taking in the sun throughout the day, can help you avoid jet lag.

 

Traveling across multiple time zones forces your body to adjust its 24-hour cycle, often resulting in jet lag. Sleep disorders are the most common symptom of jet lag, but mood changes and stomach problems can also occur. Taking melatonin as a sleep aid can help your body to adjust to the new bedtime, but it isn’t a cure-all. 

To avoid jet lag, shift your sleep schedule before you leave, stay hydrated, and get some sunlight after you land. Check out our city guide for Fresno, CA for fun outdoor activities in the area. You can also relax by the pool, break a sweat at our fitness center, or take advantage of any of our airport hotel services until it’s time to hit the hay.

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