The effects of jetlag can be quite difficult to handle, especially if you’ve been away on holiday or a business trip and you’re hoping to slip back into normality as soon as possible. The effects can last for days which, is far from ideal when you’re going back to work and taking on all of the everyday chores and challenges; everything is twice as hard when you’re tired, uncomfortable and generally feeling a little unwell. However, while jetlag is a case of riding out the storm so to speak, there are things that you can do to make life easier and jetlag recovery a bit speedier.
The most common side effect of jetlag is tiredness; your body clock goes through the turmoil of travelling across time zones and when you do stop at your destination you’ll often find that you are quite literally backwards. Preparing your body clock for the shift before you actually travel is a great way to help make the adjustment a smoother process. Set your watch to the time of your destination a few days before you travel and eat and sleep by it. It may not be convenient to jump straight into a new routine but doing things an hour before, or after, when you’d normally do them will help you settle into your holiday time zone much better. Sleeping or staying awake as though you’re already at your destination is also a good way to try and get into your new routine- while it’s not easy to stay lively while everyone’s snoozing on the plane, or sleep when there’s a child kicking the back of your seat; it’s certainly worth a try.
Light therapy is a great option too as it delivers a short, sharp burst of energy providing light when and wherever you need it. With light units as compact as a small electronic tablet you can take them with you and enjoy some SAD light therapy. Combined with going to bed and rising earlier or later – depending on where you’re travelling to – using light therapy for 30-45 mins in the morning will help your body clock to adjust to its new setting. While it may sound like you’re treating your body as if it’s a machine that needs to be reprogrammed, it’s a simple and effective way to help your body adjust. For extra energy, the SAD light therapy can also help by providing a boost when used at the correct time. Using light therapy later in the day can have an adverse effect when it comes to bedtime but if you use a light during the mid-morning period, you can benefit from enhanced energy thanks to the way the brain responds to the colour of light.
Just by following a few simple steps using a blend of technology and a bit of common sense you can enjoy your holiday more and recover from the interruption to your home life too.