December 1, 2013

What Do You Do to Avoid Jetlags?

I live in Manila and I worked Eastern Standard Time (EST) - even now that I have already resigned from work - it is hard to make lifestyle and sleep adjustments. My life recently is all about sleeping, eating, writing, eating some more and sleeping some more.

Last year, I got to experience crossing timezones and landing in a different continent after more than 18 hours of travel time. Although I am mostly awake at night (morning in Manila) and it was basically following the same routine when we landed, it was a total different adjustment.

What have I done and what do Filipinos do to avoid jetlags?

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I cannot remember the preparations that I did before the flight (I got some Travel Tips here), all I know is that I ate light meals. I didn't get enough sleep before the flight because I was thinking I would get enough during the flight time (which I did). I only ate normal food that my body can easily digest - nothing spicy, exotic, or milky. I didn't take alcohol too.

We landed midnight in our final destination. We earned additional day (we left Saturday afternoon Manila time, and arrived morning of Sunday Toronto time!). It was probably the excitement of being in another country that prompted us to go around the area of our hotel (in the middle of the night), and we found joy in shopping at the convenience store!

As expected, no restaurant was opened then, and thank God for Pizza Deliveries! I remember sleeping at around 4 in the morning, and waking up at 7 am to eat breakfast. 

The following day, we spent the day in the mall and we had already adjusted to the time that prepared us to work the following Monday. 

It may not be easy for everyone. If you are traveling for leisure, you can probably go 24 hours without sleep, but traveling for business is a total different thing. 

According to a recent survey by  Skyscanner, a leading global travel search site, 54% of Filipinos have flown with long distance transmerdian flights. This often results to desynchronisis or what is commonly known as jet lag, which results to poor sleep upon arrival, poorer mental performance and increased fatigue. 

“In an ideal world, to prevent jetlag we should begin taking on the habits of destination time zone before we leave home,” says Tony Gherardin of National Medical Adviser at the Travel Doctor – TMC. “That is, eating at the same time and sleeping or resting at the same time as what you would be doing at that destination. Of course this isn’t always possible at home or even while flying.”

Have you ever tried any of the following to try and avoid jetlag and did they work?
Eating a light diet of healthy fresh food
Exercising/ stretching on the plane
Setting my watch to destination time when I board the plane and sleeping according to this time zone
Getting as much exercise and fresh air on the day of travel as you can
Trying to stay awake all flight and sleep only when I arrive at my destination
Avoiding alcohol 24 hours before the flight until landed
Taking sleeping tablets
Drinking alcohol to fall asleep on the flight to wake up refreshed
Taking anti-jet lag pills
Taking a herbal remedy
Taking melatonin
Taking Viagra

It might take three to five days before one can adjust to the new time zone. It is never easy especially if your travel is only 5 days (including flight dates).

Have you done any of the approach mentioned above? I don't know about you, but I have never taken Viagra. 

What I have learned is that traveling with good friends is much more fun. At least you know someone will come with you to roam around the city at night, or look after your bag when you have fallen asleep during the long flight. 

What do you do to avoid jetlags?

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