Did you know it can take up to one day for each time zone you cross while traveling before your biological clock adjusts to local time? That means it could take me 9 days to get hip with the times in South Korea. Oof.
In an effort to learn what I can do to make the upcoming shift a little easier, I dug up some of best suggestions the internet had to offer:
2. Water you waiting for? Drink lots of water before, during and after your flight. The pressurized cabins cause discomfort and dehydration, so drink up.
3. Go towards the bright white light – at the right time of the day. Control your exposure to natural light in order to gradually reset your body’s rhythm. Seek out morning light and try to avoid it in the afternoon if you’ve traveled east. If you’ve headed west, do the opposite.
4. Grow a pair … of butterfly wings. People who are more social, either by making greater efforts to meet new people or traveling in a group, tend to overcome jetlag more quickly than those who isolate themselves. Social activities and exposure to external stimuli cause your brain to produce the chemicals needed to adapt to your new surroundings.
5. Mellow out. While you should absolutely talk to a doctor before trying it, 5mg of melatonin in the early evening has been proven to help people sink into their new time zone faster.
6. Lay off the sauce. This interesting article shared that alcohol, particularly when consumed at night, stimulated people more than it sedated them (people with higher blood alcohol content [BAC] took longer to fall asleep than those with lower BAC). Also, late night meals or snacks consisting of spicy foods are not a good idea, as your body’s metabolism is at its slowest and it will have difficulty digesting.
7. Know thyself. Make it as easy as possible for your body to go beddy-bye. If you’re sensitive to noise, wear ear plugs. If it helps, take a hot bath to relax your muscles. Etc.
8. Unplug and unwind. Laptops, phones and tv’s produce a kind of light that acts as a stimulant for your brain. It’s easier said than done, sure, but by closing the laptop or turning the phone/tv off an hour before bedtime, you give your brain a break and your body what it needs to be ready for a good night’s sleep.
As someone who is heading into EPIK orientation immediately upon arrival, I’m betting that most of these strategies will be difficult to implement. But a guy can dream, can’t he?