The human body is far too ‘switched on’ not to notice you have been surfing above the clouds at high altitude (which interferes with your oxygen levels) and super strong UV rays for hours on end, and that your entire sleep pattern and usual bodily functions have been turned upside down and flipped around all over the place…..
In one way or another (whether you actually feel the symptoms or not), your body will react and it will be affected. Your body will experience jet lag.
Now for the Science Bit
Criss crossing over global time zones messes with your body clock and other related physiological rhythms including:
That said, there are a few things we can do to try and lessen the blow.
- Get a good night’s sleep before you fly – stay in an airport hotel if this helps.
- Do not leave packing until the last minute (no brainer) – this will only add to feelings of stress and tiredness.
- Try and start edging into your intended time zone a few days before you travel and whilst on the plane.
- When you land, don’t take a nap until it’s officially bed time in the time zone you are in. If you try and take a nap to catch up on sleep lost on the flight your body will struggle all the more with trying to adjust to the new time zone.
- Take a shower, freshen up as soon as you reach your destination.
- Get out and do something active and outdoors to help keep you awake and distract from any tiredness.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine just before, during and after travel.