Adapting to Time Zone Changes in the Smart Way!
Ever wake up in the middle of the night and think it’s day time, but to discover it’s the middle of the night? Or ever play that game Where in the World is Carman Sandiego? Well, changing time zones can certainly make you feel that way!
At some point in our lives we have all experienced jet lag. It stops us from enjoying and exploring a new place, and often times it leaves us feeling tired.
There are ways to make sure that the time zone never changes no matter where you are. Changing time zones is troubling for anyone.
It was particularly difficult for me when I first started flying back and forth between New York and China. I didn’t know should I keep myself up, read, watch movies, sleep? I’d land and be wide awake but exhausted at the same time.
There really are no time zones that you need to worry about, all you have to do is prepare your body in the right way and not let these time zones affect you in any way possible.
Here are a number of ways that I believe can help you adapt your body and get rid of jet lag:
- Decrease The Consumption of Alcohol and Caffeine
I think that it is important to reduce the amount of liquor and caffeine you consume when you are travelling. This is because the caffeine and alcohol in the drinks messes with your body’s clock. Your biological clocks can suffer a great deal if you consume a lot of caffeinated drinks or alcohol.
- Adjust Your Schedule
Try to help your body adjust to the role beforehand, so that there are minimal surprises and adjustments for your body. You can do that in many ways.
In my experience readjusting your bedtime every few days is effective as it helps your body adopt the time of the country you will be staying in. This way the transition will be smooth and easy because it will allow your body some time to get used to it.
If the transition is rocky and abrupt, your body will experience many unpleasant sensations, which will cause you to be, jet lagged and miserable for the first few days of the trip.
I also found taking night flights helped too. This way I’d be up all day, and after getting on the flight it would be time for sleep.
- Make Sure You Have Layovers
This one is highly debatable, I agree. When I first traveled I enjoyed the layovers. I’d fly from NY to either Anchorage, Alaska then to Taiwan, and then into Hong Kong. Or, from NY to Seoul, Korea and then into HK. But later when I was used to the long flights I’d prefer to take the nonstop which was 16hrs.
Try to make a few stops when you are travelling to the other side of the world. Usually the stops are not taken as an advantage, but frequent stops give your body some time to adjust to the time zone.
If you speedily fly from one time zone to the other then there will be a few factors that your body will have to get used to. Our bodies are used to travelling on the road and in slow motion, but travelling in an airplane is a totally different experience, which is why time zones might end up disturbing you.
- Get Exposure to The Sun
When you are in a different time zone, get at least half an hour of sun exposure whenever you wake up in the morning. This helps your body realize that it is morning and that it is indeed time to wake up and start the day.
In this way, the next few days when you do follow this ritual, your body will come back to the right time and you will be able to cope with this in an appropriate manner.
- Engage Yourself in Different Activities
When we experience jet lag we are often times stay up at night and sleep in the morning. To avoid this try to extend your period of wakefulness and engage yourself in a number of activities.
So that when you are in your bed late at night, you become tired and your muscles will start to crave some sleep. In my opinion, this allows your lack of sleep to take a back seat, so that you can be prepared to seize the day when morning comes.
These tips helped me a lot over the years. And the more you fly, the easier it gets.