Let's talk jet lag
For those of us who have been lucky enough to travel across time zones, we’re probably familiar with desynchronosis. It’s when you go to bed at 10pm in a new destination, and either lie there for hours without being able to fall asleep, or fall asleep immediately but wake up at 3 am ready to go for the day. Jet lag, as it is called in layman's terms, occurs when our circadian rhythm is disrupted.
Our bodies operate on a 24 hour circadian clock - based on sunlight, body temperature, and our schedules, our bodies fall into a routine that tells us when to wake up and when to be tired. Sunlight triggers how much and when our bodies produce melatonin - a hormone that we produce naturally to trigger cell synchronization. Our eyes take in light, and when light is low, they signal through the hypothalamus portion of the brain to secrete more melatonin so that we can sleep.
When we travel to places where the sunlight is different than we’re used to, our bodies cannot quickly adjust to this new schedule. You may have heard it takes your body one day for every hour of time change to fully adjust - some of us may be a bit faster than others, but jet lag can take a long time to get over!
Other factors that can contribute to jet lag are dehydration and stress. Flying can cause your body to lose a liter of water over a 2 hour flight, so always be sure to chug water while you’re flying. Stress can also contribute to our inability to sleep at night; stress about the travel itself, or stress about sleeping in a new place and not knowing what noises to expect. (CBD can definitely help with this ;) )
Other ways to help combat jet lag:
- Spend as much time in the sun as possible when you reach your new destination. This will help stop you from getting tired too early
- Bring an eye mask and earplugs! Darkness will trigger melatonin release and ear plugs will help relieve the stress around unexpected noise
- Avoid caffeine and (I know, sadness) alcohol, at least the first night. Both are actually stimulants (more on booze to come later) and can mess up your ability to snooze
- Try b. sleepy as a way to help you relax and calm down fully in your new location, without the grogginess of a sleeping pill so you don’t lose time exploring the next day
- Check out this article for more tips