Any one who has traveled to any other time zone knows the feeling of the body dealing with jet lag. For me, once I am in a new place or back home, the hardest part is falling asleep and then staying asleep. I know part of it is just the time change but mostly if I am traveling I think my body is in a state of excitement and shock.
I have come to learn that a few things really help me out and I wanted to share and see if you have any other suggestions for our next trips.
1. Water, water and more water!- When my body is in a state of fluctuation I don’t know if I am sleepy, hungry or thirsty. I make sure that even if all the other needs are not met every half hour to hour I have a big cup of water so by the end of the day I have consumed 2 liters of water. I found following a schedule like this at least keeps my body in the right state of health. A great way to keep on track with this is to have a marked water bottle like the picture below.
2. Taking naps- I find that compensating my tiredness with boosts of caffeine does not work as well as taking a nap. Especially if I take a red eye flight, I make sure to give myself time for a nap in the middle of the next day. There are 2 types of naps that will help you feel invigorated after. If I do not have much time I set my alarm for 30 min and try to fall asleep, this means I give myself somewhere between a 20-25 min nap. Any longer than that and your body falls into deep sleep and if woken up suddenly from that, you can often feel even worse then before the nap. With a 25 minute nap I often feel invigorated enough to get me through another half day but not to the point where I cant fall asleep at night. If I am super super exhausted because I did not get any sleep the night before I will try to take a nap around 11am and set my alarm to go off in about 1 hour 45min which give me about a 90 minute nap. This amount of time lets your body go through one REM sleep cycle, I always feel amazing after that. Most importantly I have found that taking a nap any time after 2pm is just a big no no because there is no chance of falling asleep later that night at a normal time. Read more…