Whether you are a constant world traveler with thousands of frequent flier miles or are planning your first vacation to a remote location, you are likely aware of the common phenomenon of "jet lag." According to the National Sleep Foundation, jet lag is one of the most common sleeping disorders, effecting millions of travelers worldwide every day. While it used to be considered merely a state of mind, it's now shown to be a condition resulting from an imbalance in our body's natural "biological clock" caused by traveling to and from different time zones.
As explanied by Medical News Today, our bodies are not as quick to adapt to the new time zone as the time it takes to travel there, and, for example, when landing in India 15 hours after takeoff in America, our "biological clock" still has a long time to go — even a few days — before adjusting to the new time zone. This results in our bodies telling us it is time to sleep when it's actually the middle of the afternoon, or it makes us want to stay awake when it already is late at night.
Though there is no absolute cure for jet lag, and how we experience it differs from person to person, there are a few tips and tricks that one can do in order to avoid the sluggish feeling and sleeping problems caused by jet lag. Even before boarding the plane, a few simple steps, like avoiding alcohol, can make a difference. During the flight, start thinking ahead, and change the time on your watch and drink plenty of water to hydrate. After the flight — when jet lag might start creeping up on you, making you feel tired in the middle the day — take a walk to energize your body and enjoy some natural sunlight, or take a short nap, but no longer than 30 minutes.
To see all our simple tips on how to fix jet lag during you next long-distance flight, check out our slideshow of 10 Ways to Help Avoid Jet Lag.