Skipping the Jet Lag From Long Travels

Catching up on some sleep on overland travels in Brazil

“West is best, and East is a beast!”

.. is a saying commonly used to describe the jet lag you get when traveling by plane over longer distances. And in most cases it really holds true, as you by travelling westward would just experience a longer day than usually, then go to bed a bit earlier and wake up all synced and rested out the next morning. When going East on the other hand, you will travel towards the clock so that you might find yourself wanting to go to bed at noon and waking up at 2am in the morning feeling like it is morning already.

In my case I was going east from Brazil to Norway, and since I had an morning exam and then work the day after I got back, I figured that something had to be done in order not to turn into a real brainless zombie when getting back. And it worked as well, making the transit painless, with absolutely no feeling of being unsyncronized with the new time zone, and by using the steps listed below you should also manage to do so:

1. Set off a days to adapt days at the end of your trip. The app “Entrain” will help you find out how long time you will need in order to fully recover from a jet lag after your travels, depending on your sleeping patterns and the amount of light surriounding you throughout the day. I set my arrival day 72 hours before I was actually going to arrive, so that I would be fully adapted already before getting back.
2. Wake up at appropriate times for the timezone of your destination. “Entrain” will give you a list of times when you should turn on and off your light, and also when you should go to bed and wake up. This is done very gradually in order to make the transaction go as smoothly as possible.
3. Catch an overnight flight. If you are going East, you might have a flight leaving at 10 and landing some time in the morning or around noon, local time. If you manage to sleep through the whole flight you will both save time and also adapt more easily to the new time. Sleeping pills might help, especially if you can get your hands on some melatonin based ones, which are legal in almost every country except Norway.
3. When you arrive, try to get as much direct sunlight as you can. This will help your inner clock adjust naturally to the new time zone.
4. Drink lots of water, and then some more! Hydration is really important and is also why should avoid alcohol and too much coffee while adapting to a new time zone, as this will reverse the effect, making you even more dehydrated.

So these are the tips that really did the trick for me, so if you dont feel like experiencing insomnia, fatigue, diarrhea and confusion (all symptoms of jet lag) from travelling, you should consider trying them too!

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