Day 23: Jetlag - 6 Tips To Take You From Fog To Fabulous
For the 6% of the population who never suffer jetlag, you are truly superheroes in my mind.
But for the other 94% of us, the sleepy, foggy, groggy feeling of jetlag can strike at the most inopportune times when traveling on business. Combine your body clock, wine, a warm room, and you have the perfect sleep trigger (cue head hitting tasting bench)
So with travel season underway, here’s six tips to help you get over the hump:
1. Open the hotel curtains as SOON as you wake.
Not after your shower, or checking email, as SOON as you open your bleary eyes. Physically being in daylight is a powerful stimulant, and one of the first triggers for your brain to adjust your circadian rhythms to the local time zone.
2. Take a warm (not hot) shower, finishing with a cold blast.
A shower that is too hot will lull your body back to sleepy time, so keep it pleasant but not scolding. Take the face cloth and scrub your body all over to stimulate your skin, then finish with cold water to help kick-start your circulation, and get your body moving.
3. Breath of Fire
Literally like a dog sniffing grass, the kundalini “breath of fire” is a high velocity shallow breath movement that helps vitalize the body, kickstart energy and increase lung capacity. Sitting comfortably, shallow breathe in and out of your nose rapidly and evenly for 1 minute. Relax, and return to normal breathing.
4. Avoid the “Quick Nap”
Ideally, avoid popping to the hotel to “lay back down for a minute." This disrupted sleep will more than likely create more havoc than help as it interrupts circadian rhythms. If you MUST siesta like a local, set an alarm, and make it no longer than two hours in the early afternoon.
5. Choose protein over carbs
When tired, the body craves carbohydrates, so while that pasta or risotto sounds appetizing and comforting after tasting, stick with proteins and lighter fare. Your body is already expending energy adjusting to your time-zone, so don’t burden it more with digesting heavy foods. And limit caffeine after 4pm local time.
6. Go to bed at a similar time.
Business travel hours never really end, but sticking as close as possible to your sleep schedule will help your body to rest as much as possible. Eye masks and 5mg melatonin help me if I have more than 4 hours available to sleep (Always check with your medical provider on sleep aid advice.)
Some folks won’t stay in one place long enough for jetlag to catch up, but for the rest of us, here’s to a solid sleep, and staying well while on the road.