Must-Have Items to Help You Combat Jet Lag
Jet lag is a common problem among travelers who cross several time zones. Characterized by disorientation, fatigue, insomnia, and more, a case of jet lag can definitely curb your travel plans. If you’re thinking about traveling to a destination that’s on a completely different time zone, you can prevent jet lag by gradually adjusting your sleep pattern so that it fits the day to night cycle of your destination. You can accomplish this by changing your bedtime a few days prior to your flight (how long will depend on where you’re going) or by taking a hormone called melatonin (more on this below.) Need further assistance? The following items/services should help you out:
Preventing or dealing with jet lag largely depends on how much light you’re exposed to. Sometimes, you need to limit your exposure to light a few days prior to your flight, and even a few days after you arrive. Wearing dark sunglasses can help you accomplish this. When you’re trying to sync your body to the day-to-night cycle of the country you’re traveling to, don some dark sunglasses some days before you leave to help your eyes adjust to light and dark. For best results, consider getting yourself a pair of blue-blocking sunglasses. Studies have shown that the blue wavelength of light is most disruptive to your body’s circadian rhythm (i.e. the 24-hour cycle in the physiological process) so wearing sunglasses that specifically block the blue wavelength of light can help alleviate jet lag.
As previously mentioned, Melatonin is known to prevent or decrease the symptoms jet lag. Melatonin is a type of hormone that helps regulate the body’s sleep and wake cycles. It is produced naturally in the body. Studies have shown that melatonin levels tend to increase in the mid to late evenings, and decrease in the morning. It can be found naturally in certain meats, fruits, veggies, and grains, but you can also take it as a supplement. If you want to prepare your body for jet lag (or if you already have it) consider taking melatonin to alleviate your symptoms. The dosage, as well as the right time to take this supplement, will vary, so either consult with a medical professional or a fellow traveler before taking melatonin.
Need to get some sleep while it’s still light out? Wear a sleep mask to a block of the light. For best results, get a dark-colored sleep mask that can contour to your face and eye movement. This will increase your comfort level and thus help you fall asleep faster and easier.
Web and Mobile Apps
There are plenty of web and mobile apps designed to help you prevent or cope with the condition. A few examples of such apps include:
A free app that offers science-based remedies for jet lag.
Jet Lag App
A mobile app that costs $2.99, Jet Lag App lets you input your departure and arrival information for customized advice on how to cope.
Depending on your departure and arrival times, this $2.99 app offers information on the best times to sleep, wake, get light and darkness exposure, take melatonin, and more.