Travelling has become second nature to most of us. Such is the result of a world that wanted to be globalised – of businesses operating across the globe and of our thirst to explore this vast and wonderful planet of ours. And while the experience of travel opens endless possibilities – career or leisure wise – the toll of flying can have a massive effect on our health, sleep and energy levels.
Our bodies are utterly adjusted to routine, and at the very heart of that routine, there is light. It only makes sense that the anchor point of our sleep-wake cycle is light as it navigates us to wake up and prepare for sleep. Yet as we hop around the world, this anchor is becoming increasingly confused, making us tired, moody, sick, and unable to concentrate – in other words, jetlagged.
LYS Technologies is determined to use light to tackle the effects of jetlag, or perhaps even eliminate it altogether. If the anchor of our sleep-wake cycle remains constant regardless of the shifts in time zones – particularly throughout long haul flights and transportation, then we can remove jetlag from our lives. But until then, we have compiled a number of actions you can take in order to get that one step closer to a travel lifestyle free from jetlag.
Eat melatonin-rich foods
Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone as its job is to signal to the body when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake. Certain foods are high in melatonin, and by increasing your melatonin intake, you can help your body regulate its sleep habits.
Basically, instead of taking sleep-inducing medication to fall asleep when you have jetlag, try cherries, corn, asparagus, tomatoes, pomegranates, olives, grapes, broccoli, cucumber, oats, walnuts, peanuts and more.
Spend as much time outside as you can
Go for a walk, or even just sit outside in the sunshine. As the sun begins to set, it will also signal to your body that it is time to start winding down for bed. Continue going for a brisk walk in the mornings at your new destination, as this will help to get your Circadian rhythm back on track quickly.
Stay away from caffeine and alcohol
Both coffee and alcoholic drinks interfere with our REM sleep, making it harder to get the deep, restorative sleep that our bodies so desperately need after long hours of travel.
Let your body adjust to the new setting, lighting and time zone before sipping into that delicious coffee.
Adjust the lighting in your surrounding
It is no surprise that light plays a huge role in how well we sleep and how well we adjust to new sleep times. If you are trying to get your hours switched around in a new time zone, ensuring that your room is nice and dark while you're sleeping will help tremendously toward you having a decent sleep and getting your body adjusted to the new times.