Maybe you’ve heard of jet lag. It typically happens following a trip to a different time zone, because the body has trouble adjusting to the disconnect between its usual rhythms and the new sleep schedule you’ve taken on with the change in time. What this means is that you may have trouble sleeping when you cross multiple time zones, because when it’s nighttime in your new location, the body just isn’t ready for sleep yet. While the lack of sleep from jet lag can negatively affect your mood and functioning, there are methods that can serve as a cure for jet lag, so you can get back to getting the rest you need.
What to Expect from Jet Lag
Before learning about a remedy for jet lag, it’s helpful to understand what to expect when you experience this condition. According to medical experts, if you travel to a time zone that differs a few hours from yours, you might experience some of the following jet lag symptoms:
- Insomnia, or inability to sleep
- Feelings of drowsiness during the day
- Difficulty with focus and concentration
- Feelings of fatigue
- Feeling out of the ordinary, as if you are just not yourself
- Mood swings and irritability
- Upset stomach
When learning about jet lag, people may also wonder, “How long does a jet lag last?” While your experience with jet lag will vary based upon how far from your usual time zone you have traveled and your own unique health habits, symptoms tend to subside within a few days. In some cases, it may take a week or so for a cure for jet lag to kick in.
Jet Lag Remedies
If the schedule change that comes with a time zone change is resulting in jet lag symptoms like insomnia and fatigue, there are some remedies you can try. Consider taking a short nap during the day, of no longer than about 20 minutes, so that you feel refreshed but aren’t getting so much daytime sleep that you cannot fall asleep at night. Getting some sunlight first thing in the morning can also help you feel more alert and help your body to adjust to the new schedule.
If you simply cannot sleep, you can consider some home remedies for insomnia, such as exercising, meditating, and limiting caffeine. You may also find that you get a better night of sleep by practicing proper sleep hygiene, which includes maintaining a comfortable bedroom temperature, powering down electronic devices in the hours leading up to bedtime, and maintaining a quiet, dark bedroom. If overheating at night is leading to difficulty sleeping when you’re struggling with jet lag symptoms, a cooling weighted blanket that is naturally moisture-wicking can keep you comfortable and allow you to get a more restful night of sleep.
If the above measures are not enough to cure jet lag symptoms, medical researchers have found that melatonin can be effective for restoring the circadian rhythm after a trip across time zones. Taking a melatonin supplement may help you to get your sleep schedule back on track, but it is a good idea to consult with a doctor before taking this supplement, especially if you’ve never taken it before.
Jet Lag: How to Avoid it
While there are ways to overcome jet lag, you won’t have to find a remedy for jet lag if you can prevent it from occurring, or at least reduce its intensity. One strategy for avoiding jet lag includes adjusting your schedule for a few days prior to your trip. For example, if you’re traveling somewhere that is three hours ahead of you, a 10 pm bedtime in that location will feel like 7 pm to your body. To reduce the effects of jet lag, consider moving your bedtime earlier by a half hour or so every few nights in the week leading up to your trip, so that the time change is not so shocking.
If you’re someone who has a hard time sleeping or regularly struggles with insomnia, you may also consider consulting with your doctor prior to your trip to determine if there is a way you can prevent jet lag or at least reduce jet lag symptoms. Your doctor may be able to offer medication or other recommendations.
How Aricove Can Help
If you’re planning to take a trip to a different time zone, packing a weighted blanket in your bag is a wise idea. A weighted blanket can calm the nervous system and relax the body, so you have an easier time falling asleep while you’re still adjusting to a new rhythm.
Aricove is an excellent option for when you’re traveling. Not only do we offer multiple blanket weights, including a 15 lb weighted blanket for adults; we also make our blankets with naturally cool and comfortable bamboo fabric to keep you as cozy as possible during your trip. Our blankets also come with a carrying tote, so you can easily take them along with you, no matter how many time zones you must cross to get to your final destination!