If you’re returning to California from a trip to Europe, no doubt jet lag ranks as one of your major concerns. Not handled properly, extreme time changes can take up to a week for the body to adjust. Rest assured experts agree on a number of small changes that can make the transition from one time zone to the next easier for your body and mind to absorb. In essence, you’re disrupting the natural sleep patterns your body has developed. Follow these tips to limit the impact of jet lag after your next transatlantic journey.
One of the biggest contributors to jet lag is dehydration. Provided you’ve been abroad for at least a week and your body clock has truly shift to local time, making the transition to west coast time will require complete hydration. The day prior to your trip, begin hydrating with at least 4 eight ounce glasses of water daily. Remember, coffee and alcohol actually contribute to dehydration, as such, it’s best to avoid both on the day prior and day of your flight. During flight, continue with water consumption. Add lemon slices, but avoid sweetener and flavoring packets which contain unnecessary amounts of sugar.
An interesting concept to help regulate your body during flight is to wear sunglasses. These will block out unnatural cabin light and make it easier for sleep. Get in a comfortable position and grab a pillow and blanket. At least four hours of sleep are need to prepare your body for reduced sleep cycles in the days to come. Try to eat your meals as close to possible to the time you would eat them at your final destination.
Since you will arrive in California in the early evening, it’s recommended that you stay awake until at least 9pm and continue to hydrate with water. Following these steps will increase the likelihood of getting at least 7 hours of sleep on your first night home. Treat yourself to a massage to gently invigorate what will surely be a set of stiff muscles for extended sitting. Take a long walk on your first morning back to stimulate your metabolism. Welcome home!