When we travel we’re usually travelling for business, pleasure or to see family and friends that don’t live near us. If we’re traveling longer distances we do have to deal with jet lag to get us back on the same sleep routine. What can we do to help us back on the same sleep regimen that we have at home?
The first thing that we have to do is deal with our jet lag. It’s harder to adjust to the time difference if we’re landing in a destination(in the US) that has a time zone that is later than where we started, i.e, west coast to east coast. The reason is that we’re just not tired at our normal bedtime. It’s far easier to force yourself to stay up when we’re tired, than it is to force yourself to sleep when you’re not. To make the transition to the new time zone happen faster, there are a few things you can do.
First, move over to the new time zone immediately. If you normally eat lunch at noon on the west coast, eat lunch at noon on the east coast. If you wake up at 7 a.m. on the west coast., wake up at 7 a.m. on the east coast. Keep your bedtime as close to the same time as well. If you’re travelling to a destination that has a time zone that is earlier than where you started (i.e, east coast to west coast or international travel) just stay up and immediately transition to the new time zone. Stay up and just stretch out your sleep time as far as you possibly can. It will make the transition to the new time zone much easier.
When it comes to retraining your internal clock, light is your best friend, because it is the essential cue for regulating your circadian rhythm. Also, don’t depend on your family, friends or a hotel to wake you up at the right time. Make sure that you bring on your trip a travel alarm clock with the same features as the one that you use at home. It will make your adjustment to your new time zone much easier.