Previously thought of as a simple scheduling issue, jet lag is now considered a medical condition due to its effects on our biological circadian rhythms. It occurs when we travel across time zones and can cause major sleep disturbances. So if you’re gearing up for a trip to the other side of the country, or maybe even the other side of the world, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of natural remedies to beat jet lag.
1. Get Some Sun
Your circadian rhythm wants to sync up with the sunlight, so why not help it along? Exposure to sunlight during the day will help your body ready itself for sleep at night. Take a long walk, or spend time by a window, if possible. Just be sure to wear sunblock when appropriate.
2. Create an Ideal Sleep Environment
Getting to sleep in a new place can be tough, so try to tip the odds in your favor. Consider bringing comforting items along, such as your favorite pillow or blanket. Adjust the room temperature so that it’s similar to what you’re used to. And, if possible, manipulate the noise level—if unfamiliar sounds are making it hard to sleep, you might try streaming white noise or rainfall from a phone or laptop or popping in a set of earplugs to drown out the sound.
3. Plan Ahead
The most natural way to combat jet lag is to avoid it altogether—whenever possible, of course. So be mindful of flight times when you book them. If you can, schedule yourself to arrive at your destination in the early evening, and try to be in bed by 10 p.m. Don’t indulge in caffeine or other stimulants if you think you might have trouble getting to sleep your first few nights in a new place. You can even prepare yourself by changing up your sleep schedule a few days before your flight to be more in line with the different time zone.