Lessen Your Risk for Jet Lag

Traveling long distances by air that cause changing time zones several times can cause symptoms of jet lag once you get to your destination. Symptoms may be feeling hungry, alert and sleepy at inappropriate times. This can affect your job performance as well as enjoyment of your vacation. It does take time but the circadian rhythm inside our bodies does eventually adjust to the time change. It takes longer to feel normal if you travel across multiple times zones vs. if you only travel across one or two.

Lessen Your Risk for Jet LagDivers frequently travel to distant locations for diving and can be affected with jet lag for most of their travel. It also can affect the ability to safely dive; therefore they should know how to reduce the effects of jet lag.

While getting ready for your travel, attempt to change your bedtime slowly to where it should be at your destination. If you are going east, retire an hour before you normally would for every time zone that you anticipate changing. Don’t use tea, chocolate, coffee, or alcohol and try to exercise at least four hours prior to the new time you will be going to sleep. Also, get up before you normally would and attempt to get outside and get some sunshine so your body will adjust.

If you are going west, do just the opposite and retire later and remain in bed for a longer amount of time.

If you don’t sleep while you are flying you will make the effects associated with traveling quickly across time zones much worse. If you can sleep while flying, it may help some. While you sleep, the temperature of your body decreases and hormones react differently. Usually this happens at the same time daily but these hormonal changes will also occur with changes in noise and light that is in your surroundings.

Lessen Your Risk for Jet LagWhen it gets dark, your pineal gland located in your brain begins to secrete melatonin; also called the Dark Hormone. Melatonin aids the body in falling and staying asleep but it does not have the ability to do this by itself. If you are going to sleep well during flight you should avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol that may cause you to stay awake. Use blindfolds and earplugs to calm noise and create darkness. If this isn’t sufficient, use up to 1 mg melatonin about a half hour prior to bedtime.

Usually when you take short diving trips like this you don’t have much time planned so it is important that you don’t spend most of the time with symptoms of jet lag. If you do some of these things mentioned, you will experience symptoms for a much shorter length of time and be able to enjoy your trip more.

The more you prepare for the possibility of jet lag, the great chance you have of getting over it quickly so it won’t destroy your diving trip. Try not to dive the first day you arrive at your destination just so you are definitely over all of the symptoms before you subject your body to the rigors of diving. Following these few tips and delaying your diving expeditions by just a day will ensure you a great experience with your diving vacation.