Flying to Baja From Overseas? Use These Tricks To Avoid Jet Lag
Baja is a wonderful place to spend a vacation. Unfortunately, it is pretty far away from pretty much any place that’s outside the Americas. This is not a problem in the age of high-speed air travel – jet lag, in turn, is. Jet lag is a condition induced by your biological clock and the local time at the place you arrive at being out of sync – your body thinks it is the evening, for example, while the local time showing that it’s before noon. This leads to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms ranging from sleep disturbances and fatigue to mood changes and general discomfort that can ruin at least a few days of your vacation. Luckily, there are quite a few science-backed ways to avoid jet lag or at least to make its symptoms much more bearable.
One of the best ways to reduce the duration of jet lag is to arrive at your destination as early as possible. Choose a flight that lands in the morning, and stay up at least until 10 PM local time, taking a short nap in the afternoon if it’s unavoidable – but set an alarm to avoid oversleeping. This way, your body will adapt much faster to its new sleep schedule.
Additionally, you can start adapting your sleep schedule a week before you leave home: if you travel west, go to sleep later, and if you travel east, go to sleep earlier in the evening. This will also help your body and brain adapt faster to the local time.
Relax your routine
Be flexible in your daily routines before you leave on a long flight – it will make your transition to the new time zone easier. If your body is used to getting its evening meal at 6 PM sharp each day, it will start demanding that you eat at that time (or what it perceives as dinner time) even if it’s only 9 AM in Baja (if you come from Germany, for example, that’s 9 hours ahead). Keep a flexible routine for at least a few days before you leave so that your mind and body will find it easier to adapt to the local schedule upon arrival.
Say no to drugs
When traveling halfway across the world, avoid using drugs – sleeping pills, caffeine, and alcohol, that is – before you arrive. A tasty cocktail sipped before your flight can make you feel tired, sleeping pills will make you dizzy, and coffee – especially if you consume it in industrial quantities, like some people I know – will keep you awake for longer than necessary, making it even harder for you to adapt to your new location’s time zone.
Instead, drink enough water and herbal tea, sleep naturally if you must, and give your body the chance to adapt in a natural way.