These suggestions may stop time zones from taking all the fun out of your vacations
If you’ve ever taken a trip somewhere in a different time zone, then you know how hard it can be to overcome the challenges of jet lag. Whether you’re too tired to leave your room or starving at a time when it’s inconvenient to eat, this temporary malady can make it hard for your body to adjust enough to enjoy your new surroundings.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can minimize the impact that jet lag has on you when you travel. The following tips can help you take back valuable vacation time that you might otherwise lose in adjusting to your new time zone.
- Make a plan to get started in the morning
- Go outside and stay active
- Take breaks, but don’t nap
- Plan your "must" activities for later in your trip
- Make it as easy as possible to fall asleep at night.
If you know ahead of time that jet lag is going to make you have trouble waking up, plan beforehand how you’re going to make yourself get up. You could schedule room service to be delivered at a certain time, or you might pre-pay for a morning tour so that sleeping in will cost you money. Give yourself an incentive to get going.
If your surroundings will let you, do tasks and activities in the morning that will keep you actively moving and in the sunlight. Doing this will help you feel more awake both physically and mentally. Go on a walking tour or a hike or just explore around you.
You’re going to get tired at some point during the day, so plan a break for either mid-day or late afternoon. Try not to nap during this time, though; use it to recharge by listening to music, reading, or people-watching. If you do nap, limit it to 15 or 20 minutes, since longer naps will mess up your sleep cycle even more.
Just in case you have a hard time following these tips, make sure to schedule the activities you want to do the most for after you’ve been there for a few days and your sleep cycle has adjusted. It may be hard to wait, but you don’t want to miss out because you fell asleep!
Having a regular bedtime routine will help your body relax and get ready for sleep. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the afternoons and evenings, as these can affect your sleep cycle. If you can’t avoid them, compensate with an easy morning the next day.
You can’t avoid jet lag completely, but following these tips can help you beat it and make the most of your trip.