If you’ve ever taken a long-haul flight, then you know what jet lag feels like- the groggy and exhausted feeling you get after going through a quick succession of different time zones. According to a major study by UpJohn, 94% of long haul passengers experience jet lag and its irritating side effects. Flight professionals are trained to manage the effects of jet lag because most airlines provide fatigue-risk management programs to their flight crews. Passengers, on the other hand, do not have such luck and have less knowledge about jet lag and how to regulate their bodies to the long flight and its constant time zone changes.
According to NASA, the human body usually takes time to adjust after a long flight. Here are sure-fire ways to combat jet lag, straight from the long-haul pros themselves.
East or West?
Pilots highly suggest that passengers know the general direction that their flight is headed so that the can plan their napping schedule and even condition their bodies for the change in time zones.
If you’re heading towards the east, get up early every day for a few days before your anticipated flight and turn on bright lights. This routine will help your body adjust to the would-be conditions of the Eastern countries. However, on the day of your flight it is best to avoid light as much as possible, this helps to advance your internal clock. Once you’ve reached your destination, it’s advised to sleep with your curtains open to allow plenty of light into your room.
However, if you’re going to the west: It’s best to stay up late, (for night owls out there, this can be your advantage!) and expose yourself to bright lights in the evening to delay your body clock.
Not only is it good for your skin but it can also help combat jet lag. Flying to the other side of planet may leave you feeling dry and thirsty. Being dehydrated makes it difficult for your body to adjust to a different time zone.
Sometimes water isn’t enough. To add a little more boost to your drink you can mix in electrolyte powder to boost the essential minerals in your body. You can even substitute your normal water with any drink that is infused with electrolytes (yes, that’s for you health buffs out there). It’s best to avoid drinks with too much caffeine and alcoholic drinks as these will dehydrate you even more and will leave you restless and more tired.
Exercise also helps the body adjust to different time zones. Going outside for a walk or a light jog can do wonders for your body: it wakes your body up and the act itself releases a chemical called endorphins that triggers a feeling of happiness and lightness– a good contrast to the groggy and irritable feeling of being jet lagged.
Take it from the pros. Don’t panic; there is always a way around jet lag. For aviation professionals, it all starts at the right school that is equipped with seasoned mentors and the facilities to get their basics down pat. If you’re done being the simple passenger, you can take it to the next level and reach for the skies. For more information about aviation industry, visit wccaviation.com
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