How Travel Affects Sleeping Patterns + How to Deal with Jet Lag
This guest blog post was curated for Bucky by Marie Nieves.
The jitters of your travel itinerary, waiting to cast your gaze over incredible natural landscapes, get lost in urban crowds, and the sheer excitement of the plane’s takeoff are some of those irreplaceable feelings you can barely wrap your mind around every time you’re getting ready to set sail. The beauty of the unknown, the exhilaration, and all that jazz, however, cannot compensate for certain issues that come with the territory of travel. One of them includes the sleep issues you often encounter when you either take a long flight or change time zones.
The wonderful jet lag is that one, simple consequence that can wreck your entire trip if you’re not sure how to introduce some Zen-time and proper sleep into your travel routine. So, in order to preserve your travel jitters and keep you energized for exploration and adventure, let’s take a look at a few ways you can minimize these negative effects of long flights and boost your own relaxation!
Hydrate for the tropics
Are you getting ready to bask on the beaches of the beautiful Tahiti in the next two weeks? If you’re traveling from the US, you know that the time-zone shift and the time it takes to get there (about eight hours) will wreak havoc on your lovely pores. Too much time in the air can have a dehydrating effect on your skin, and few of us drink enough water while we’re en route. In addition to a sudden zit-attack, your lack of water intake will also affect your mood, cause headaches, and make it much more difficult to adjust.
To prevent this issue and provide your skin and body with everything they need to survive this challenge, make sure you pack plenty of hydrating facial masks, perhaps something for the flight itself, and of course, keep those water bottles coming.
Prepare for the dark
If it’s been your life-long dream to see the enchanting Aurora, then you’re likely looking for some of the the perfect Northern Lights packages that will give you a first-row seat for this spectacle of Mother Nature. That, however, means that you need to head to the northernmost corners of the globe such as Alaska and spend your days hankering for some sun. The days are infinitely shorter, with certain regions spending months on end in pitch black – and that is bound to have a negative effect on your sleeping patterns.
To help your circadian rhythm adjust and prevent sudden energy drops and similar issues, make sure you build a sleeping schedule and a bedtime routine to soothe your mind. Include plenty of healthy food and stay active during the day, and you can even consult a physician on boosting your vitamin D intake during your stay in the far north of the planet.
Amp up your self-care routine
The first thing that goes out the window the moment you reach your next vibrant destination will most likely be your self-care routine. No matter if you hit the beach or you’re spending a few days exploring the Alps, you need to make sure that you’re taking excellent care of yourself in every possible way. To prevent jet lag from taking over, use a relaxing eye pillow infused with calming scents, and you’ll be whisked away to the sweetest dreams in no time.
This is no time to remove certain self-care practices, but actually add a few more to make sure that you will get enough quality sleep at the right time. Switching to a new time zone can be distressing, so it’s up to you to take stress out of the equation and increase your ability to unwind properly.
Start adjusting early
Too many eager travelers wait to adapt to the new time zone until they actually reach the destination, which means that you won’t give yourself a chance to avoid jet lag, or minimize its effects. On the other hand, start changing your sleep schedule one hour at a time at least several days before your trip, and you’ll soon realize that this is that one bit of behavior that can make all the difference in the world.
Moving your sleep in the days prior to your trip can actually ease your body into a new time zone, since you won’t find it so difficult to fall asleep outside of your schedule. However, you need to take a strategic approach, and gradually push your sleep time to your destination’s time zone, as that is the only way you’ll succeed. For added help: use a sleep mask to relax properly before bedtime, and bring it with you on your trip. The power of suggestion paired with comforting scents can do wonders for your sleeping patterns!
The beauty of travel shouldn’t be hindered by these pesky problems, and with many simple, easy-to-implement strategies up your sleeve, you can make jet lag a thing of the past – or at least a very brief visitor during your trips, not a long-term companion. Use these bits of wisdom to tinker with your sleep during travel, and you’ll find your trip far more energizing than ever before!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and surf the Internet. Her favorite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She spends most of her free time at home walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography and a regular author at High Style Life. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.