13 Jun Skip Jet Lag and Start Your Honeymoon Out Right – SleepHelp.org
Thank you to Ellie P. from SleepHelp.org for contributing this wonderful post on how to skip jet lag on your honeymoon!
Skip Jet Lag and Start Your Honeymoon Out Right
Imagine this; your wedding day went as planned and you’ve arrived at a beautiful honeymoon destination. You think you’re on your way to honeymoon bliss only to discover you’re both too exhausted to enjoy the first three days for your six-day honeymoon.
Why? Jet lag.
But, a little pre-trip planning goes a long way to reduce the effects of jet lag so you can enjoy some one-on-one time with your spouse.
What is Jet Lag?
Jet lag wasn’t even a word until humans achieved the ability to move through several time zones in one day. Excessive daytime sleepiness and insomnia at night are signs of jet lag. These symptoms are due to a misalignment of your circadian rhythms.
Circadian rhythms are a series of 24-hour biological and physiological cycles the body uses to do everything from control your sleep-wake cycle to correctly time the release of hormones. These rhythms as are largely controlled by your exposure to natural light.
Light receptors have a close link to the part of the brain that controls your circadian rhythms. However, when you travel through several time zones, your circadian rhythms get out of sync. You experience jet lag until your circadian rhythms catch up. However, some advanced planning can help you adjust your circadian rhythms before you get on the plane.
Prepare Before You Travel
- Adjust Your Sleep Schedule: You can start adjusting your bedtime and wake-up several days in advance to more closely match that of your honeymoon destination. Change your schedule by 30 to 60 minutes earlier or later, each day, depending on your destination. Make sure you’ve got a comfortable sleep environment to support your new sleep schedule. Keep the room cool, dark, and quiet and make sure your mattress supports your preferred sleep position.
- Shift Your Meal Times: While natural light heavily influences your circadian rhythms, so does your meal timing to a lesser degree. Adjust your meal times so that you’re eating more closely to when you’ll eat while on your honeymoon.
- Consider Melatonin: If your destination has more than a four-hour time difference, you might consider over-the-counter melatonin supplements. Melatonin is a natural sleep hormone and can help you feel tired when taken an hour before bed.
On The Plane
- Stay Hydrated: Adequate hydration won’t help you adjust your circadian rhythms, but it can keep you more alert. Dehydration can cause headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, none of which help you overcome jet lag. Try to drink at least eight ounces of water for every hour your in flight.
- Sleep (or Not): Depending on the time of your flight, you can use your travel time to adjust your sleep schedule. If it will be morning when you arrive at your destination, use your flight to sleep. However, if you’re landing at night, skip the nap on the plane to help yourself feel tired once you arrive.
When You Arrive
- Get Outside: Get as much exposure to natural sunlight as possible. The light will help your brain and body adjust to the local time zone. If the weather doesn’t let you get outside, try to be near a bright artificial light, which can help suppress the release of sleep hormones.
- Nap Wisely: A well-timed nap can help you keep going when your body is ready to quit. However, you don’t want to sleep the afternoon away. Set an alarm (or two) to make sure you only sleep 30-60 minutes.