This condition, which often causes increased daytime drowsiness and nighttime insomnia, can present with a number of other symptoms as well. These additional symptoms include headache, fatigue, poor concentration, changes in appetite, and irritability. Fortunately, there are certain things that can be done to help prevent jet lag, allowing you to avoid such symptoms while traveling.
One thing you may wish to try, as it can help minimize the effects of jet lag, is strategic flight planning. If possible, book your tickets for an overnight flight. It's often best to pick a flight that will arrive at your destination in the morning or afternoon, as such arrival times often make it easier to normalize your schedule.
You may also wish to prepare your body for the time change prior to leaving. In the week before your scheduled date of departure, start adjusting your sleep pattern to match that of your chosen destination. The longer you are able to maintain your altered schedule before leaving, the less of an effect jet lag will have on you once you've arrived.
On the day of the flight, stay hydrated, but avoid caffeinated beverages. Caffeine consumption may make it harder for you to maintain your altered sleep schedule and prevent you from getting adequate rest on the plane. You may also wish to bring ear plugs and a sleep mask if you find it hard to sleep while flying.
If you were able to schedule a daytime arrival, avoid napping if possible after landing. Otherwise, any previous efforts at adjusting your sleep schedule may be for naught. Instead, spend your time outside. Exposure to bright sunlight during the day will help your internal clock adjust to its new schedule.
Jet lag is an unfortunate side effect of flying across time zones which is why many people wish to prevent the condition altogether. Thankfully, by performing certain actions before and during your travels, your internal clock will be better prepared for the change, helping you prevent the symptoms of jet lag while traveling.
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