Air travel is a quick and convenient form of travel, helping you feed your wanderlust by getting you to different corners of the earth in a short time. But while air travel is safer than most transport modes, it can get hectic with the numerous security checkpoints you have to pass through.
It triggers physical discomfort, and jet lag is arguably the most undesirable air travel element, not to mention it eats into your vacation days. However, although the condition has no standard treatment, it is 100% curable using the simple tips below.
What Is Jet Lag?
Jet lag disorder, or time zone change syndrome, is a sleep disorder that primarily affects the circadian rhythm, causing either excessive or disturbed sleep. It may also manifest as a collection of symptoms, including general unwellness, fatigue, difficulty staying alert, and headaches.
The condition occurs when you cross more than two time zones within a few hours. However, jetlag is a temporary condition that clears up within a few days, although you can hasten jetlag recovery.
Hydrate Your Skin using CBD
Dehydration is a common phenomenon experienced during flights that exacerbates jet lag. CBD products like CBD-infused topicals and CBD gummies can help prevent excessive water loss via the skin.
According to one review on air quality in aircraft, humidity levels inside an aircraft can dip to below 5%. Flight passengers experience dehydration because aircraft cabins have a humidity level substantially lower than what the human body is accustomed to on land. The 5% relative humidity is considerably low, given that most climatic regions on land have a relative humidity ranging from 30% to 60%.
Although the low humidity maintained in an aircraft help protect its parts from oxidation corrosion reactions, it takes a toll on the human body. Your body is 60% water, and thus it loses more water in an airplane as nature attempts to balance the humidity levels between your body and the low-humidity environment.
The dehydration effect increases during long-haul flights and higher altitude climbs. But staying hydrated before and during your flight will keep you hydrated and cushion your body against intense jetlag impact.
The Federal Aviation Administration recommends drinking eight ounces of water every hour during your flight to remain hydrated. Moreover, you can also dehydrate fresh fruit juices but avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and sugary drinks because they exacerbate dehydration.
CBD topicals are also effective because they lock in moisture, creating a protective barrier protecting the skin against water loss. Such topicals also contain carrier oil like olive and coconut oils that enhance CBD’s moisture-locking capacity.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital in cushioning your body against jet lag. Sleep disturbance is a primary jetlag symptom because jet lag disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
The circadian rhythm is your body’s innate clock, characterized by 24-hour cycles that include sleep and wakefulness. Circadian rhythm disruptions strain your body’s normal function, causing jet lag symptoms. However, getting ample sleep before and during your flight can help cushion your body against jet lag effects.
Getting ample sleep in the days leading to your journey helps with “banking” sleep. “Banking” sleep is a relatively new area of study. Still, one literature review shows that sleep extension helps create a “sleep reserve” for days ahead when you may experience sleep deficiency. Therefore, catch as much downtime as possible at least three days before your scheduled flight.
Also, ensure to catch nighttime sleep during your flight, especially as a long-haul traveler. You can use sleep aids like melatonin products. Melatonin is a hormone that the body produces naturally to induce sleep, but it is also available in supplement form.
Condition Your Body for The New Time Zone During Your Flight
Preparing your body for the new time zone while aboard the flight makes it easier to adjust. Therefore, begin by setting your watch according to your destination’s time zone after boarding the plane.
You can also match your meal times, bedtime, and wake-up time to your destination’s time zone. Comfort items like a neck pillow, eye mask, and earplugs can also help you fall asleep while on board.
Consider Light Therapy
Light exposure influences the circadian rhythm because light entering the retina initiates serotonin production. Serotonin is a hormone that promotes wakefulness and is also a precursor for melatonin production at night. Therefore, sunlight exposure ensures your body makes enough serotonin to facilitate ample melatonin production.
Sunlight exposure after a flight causes a phase shift in your circadian rhythm, meaning you may experience a phase advance or a phase delay. A phase advance means your circadian rhythm resets, making you wake up earlier to catch up with the time zone, while a phase delay means you wake up later. Experts recommend getting approximately 30 minutes of sunlight exposure to combat jet lag during morning hours.
Besides sleep aids and sunlight, the circadian rhythm also responds to physical exercise. According to a research study, moderate-intensity physical activity causes a phase shift. Moreover, another study established that exercising between 7 am and 4 pm caused a phase advance while exercising between 7 pm and 10 pm caused a phase delay.
Jet lag is an indiscriminate phenomenon that can strike regardless of your health status and fitness level. Although the condition does not require treatment, the symptom management tips above should make it more bearable.