To avoid jet lag, stay awake until local bedtime your first night.

Mind & Spirit

Whether you’re a frequent flier or jetting off to a foreign land for the first time, chances are you will experience a bout of “jet lag” during your travels.

Jet lag is a sleep disorder caused by a disruption to our natural rhythm or biological clock. The reason we go to sleep every night is to reset our system – allowing our body to heal itself and balance our hormones.

Long trips make it hard for our bodies to adjust when we arrive to destinations across multiple time zones. Most often, symptoms like fatigue, insomnia and overall malaise are a result of our body trying to get on the sleep schedule it’s used to.

If you don’t have time to slowly adapt your sleep schedule before your trip, this HealthyERHack will help get you up and running a lot more quickly: Stay awake until at least 10 p.m. on your new local time. Staying out in the sunlight as much as possible once you arrive will help. Light is your body’s natural method of telling time.

If staying awake isn’t possible and you need to nap, make sure it’s no longer than two hours. Otherwise, your brain will think you are trying to get a full night of sleep and confuse your state further.

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