Jet lag is a necessary evil when you want to cross multiple time-zones in a few hours. Although you can take several precautions like early sleeping, considerate eating and choosing the comfiest mattress, you will have a broken sleep schedule by the time you land. This messed-up schedule can really take a toll on your productivity.
More importantly, you will have to regain a healthy amount of sleep to keep yourself sane. Here, we don’t want to talk about circadian rhythm or the internal habit-based clock our body has. Instead, we’ve come up with a few tips that can help you reset your sleep schedule after traveling.
#1 Build a Routine
Creating and maintaining a routine can help you restore some sense to your sleep schedule. It is practically impossible to decide a time and fall asleep accurately. However, something you can do is waking up at the same time, every single day. Soon enough, your body would allow you to attain a certain sense of the time, which would help you sleep at regular times. That having said, building a routine is not something simple. It requires a few sub-tasks that would contribute in the long run. If you have a regular calendar, you may have to modify it a bit too much.
#2 Prefer Quality, Deep Sleep
A tendency to take naps is a common companion to jet lag. Scientific studies, however, suggest that you must not follow these temptations. Of course, you can take a few minutes’ power-naps if necessary, but don’t go beyond that. There are two implications: first, the intermittent sleep you get can confuse your body. Second, you may not fall asleep when you really want to. Both these things can give you a pretty messed-up morning experience. Ensuring the best environment to sleep, as the best mattresses for different sleeping positions, can be a good help here.
#3 Lighting Matters
Several studies have proven that your exposure to light can have a noticeable impact on how soon you get over from jet-lag issues. This is done so that your body clock gets in sync with the earth’s clock. This is how you should work. You have to expose yourself to sunlight and bright environments during the day-time. After that, however, as the night approaches, your environment should also get dimmer. By the time it’s actually dark outside, your room should also have that lighting condition. There are even apps like Entrain that can help you create a lighting-based schedule.
#4 Mind What You Eat
You should probably know that some food items can induce sleep while others can make you sleep. When you are getting over jet lag and irregular sleeping patterns, you should really pay attention to what you are eating. Everyone knows the hard truth about caffeine: it can help you pull an all-nighter but, otherwise, it’s the biggest challenge to sleep. So, make sure you don’t consume caffeinated drinks afternoon. You should also try to take less soda and other carbonated beverages after lunchtime. All these items take some time to kick in and you may end up losing sleep.
#5 The Whole Deal of Exercise
Regular exercise is your golden shot when it comes to restoring the sleep schedule. Nevertheless, there are certain ways you should approach exercise. You don’t have to exhaust yourself but keep the heart pumping during the day. So, when it’s time to sleep, you will have fewer things to worry about it. More importantly, you should not train your body to stay awake at night. For instance, if you are not able to sleep even after spending a few good minutes on bed, get up and do something else. As soon as you can wake up at the same time in the morning, everything will be alright.
#6 The Miscellaneous Steps
There are a few simple steps that mean a lot when it comes to resetting the sleep cycle. For instance, you’ve to reduce the exposure to blue light from smartphones and other screens. Blue light, as researchers have noticed several times, has an impact on the circadian rhythm. Similarly, you should try to have food at regular intervals. Because our body learns the habit of food intake, this decision would also re-arrange the cycle of sleep into something stable. Some research attempts have also shown that you should maintain a cool room when you’re trying to reset the cycle. The optimal temperature would be 67 to 68 degrees.
Apparently, these tips have helped thousands of travelers to reset their sleep schedule after traveling for long. One thing you have to note is that everything depends on the type of trip. If you are crossing a number of extreme time-zones, for instance, you have to do the same tasks for a considerably long period of time.
I”m a frequent traveller and have to go abroad once a month. I’ve been suffering from Jet Leg lately. And also the hectic work schedule is not letting me sleep peacefully. The improper sleeping schedule is effecting my working ability and focus so much. I was surfing the internet and came across your article. Thank you so much for sharing these useful tips. I’m going to try these on my next trip.