Jet Lag and How to Avoid it at Your Destination Wedding

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More and more couples are flying themselves and their guests to their wedding destinations. Jet lag is what you feel when you’ve had a long flight that changes time zones – extreme tiredness, soreness, headaches insomnia, and feeling like everything is slightly off-kilter.

Your body generally knows what time it’s in, thanks to your circadian rhythm, or body clock. When you change time zones quickly, as you do on a flight, your internal clock gets screwed up and leads to jet lag.

With symptoms like that, nobody wants to deal with this circadian rhythm disorder. The bad news? Jet lag gets worse as you get older.  So, how do you avoid it? And how do you treat it if you do get hit with the symptoms?

 

How do you avoid jet lag?

  • Plan to land in the early evening

If you can, try and land in the early evening in the local time zone. That way, you can get settled into your hotel, have a light dinner and go to bed while you’re still tired from a long flight. Sleeping during your destination’s nighttime can help your circadian rhythm reset.

  • Drink water while you fly

When you fly, it’s easy to get dehydrated. It’s even easier when you drink things with caffeine and alcohol in them. Alcohol is also more likely to make you have to use the restroom, which will make you a very annoying seatmate.

  • Do some exercises or stretches while you fly

If you find yourself struggling to stay awake on the plane ride, try walking up and down the aisle or doing other stretches from your seat. Keep your seatmates in mind, and stay in your own personal space as much as possible. Moving around can help give you the adrenaline you need to get through the flight without napping.

 

If you’re lagging, how do you deal with it?

  • Spend some time in the sun if you arrive during the day

Our brains use sunlight as the way to tell time, so spending some time in the natural light would be incredibly helpful for someone struggling with jet lag. Sun exposure is especially helpful if you land in the morning, totally exhausted from your flight. It’s also helpful when you wake up the next day.

  • Stay awake until a normal bedtime in local time

You should try and stay up until your usual bedtime to beat jet lag, and to retrain your circadian rhythm. Scheduling a bedtime helps to build a new routine for your body in its new time zone. If you find that you’re struggling to fall asleep at the right time, try using natural supplements, like valerian root or melatonin. Or you can spend some time comparing mattresses for when you get home and want to crash in perfect comfort.

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol

As I mentioned earlier, caffeine and alcohol stay in your system for a while and cause further trouble for your circadian rhythm.

  • Avoid a heavy meal prior to bedtime

As usual, a heavy meal right before bed is not beneficial to your sleep schedule, so keep your pre-bed snacking to a minimum.

By taking steps to avoid jet lag, you can usually settle into your new time zone within a day or two.  If you’re getting married at a destination, you may want to arrive a couple of days early to shake any jet lag before you walk down the aisle.

 

July 16, 2018 |

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