Getting that long vacation in the west with TravelExotico can be great. But jet lag, not so much. Jet lag is what happens when your internal biological clock becomes out of sync with the environmental time of the place that you are going to. The most common symptoms are insomnia followed by daytime sleepiness.
It’s uncomfortable. You feel tired, you can’t sleep, you make lousy decisions, you’re not productive and grouchy. Jet lag can also cause an upset stomach and loss of appetite. The majority of people will find it easier travelling west than east because when you travel eastward, you effectively need to sleep earlier than you otherwise would have had to in your home time so most people have an internal biological clock that’s actually a bit longer than 24 hours so there’s a little bit inclination to stay up a little bit later.
To help, try to adjust your sleep schedule a bit each day the week before you leave. When travelling, appropriately timing the use of sunglasses or masks can block out exterior lights to either help maintain your home sleep schedule or get used to your new time zone. Melatonin can also help enhance sleep quality but always check with your doctor about safe amounts for you.
En route and upon arrival, avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime and keep sleeping conditions cool and dark. The biggest danger with jet lag is flying to some place, hopping into a car and driving while drowsy. You will need about at least 1 day to fully adjust to each hour of time change.
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