Travelling is always a wonderful experience, whether you’re enjoying a weekend getaway or a family trip. However, there are downsides to exploring the world on a regular basis. One of the issues many travellers face is that by the time they arrive home, their sleep cycle has been completely thrown out of whack.
Once you’ve moved through time zones, getting back to a normal sleep routine can be challenging. But there’s good news and even better news. The good news is that you can fight jetlag with proper sleep. And the even better news is that you don’t have to accept a lifetime of bad sleep in exchange for an opportunity to explore. Here’s what you can do to get yourself back into a healthy sleeping pattern:
1. Try not to nap
After you’ve arrived home from a long-haul flight, chances are all you’ll want to do is head to bed and snooze the day away. However, this is something you need to avoid if you haven’t reached your typical bedtime yet. While forcing yourself to stay awake when you’re exhausted can be an upsetting experience at first, you’ll be better off if you can push yourself back into your regular routine. Rest assured that when night finally does arrive, you should drift off to sleep quite easily. Another great option to help you drift off to la la land is to use bed coolers.
2. Abstain from alcohol
If you’re trying to fix your sleeping pattern, the last thing you want to do is indulge in too many drinks. Although it’s true that alcohol can help you to fall asleep faster, it will often disrupt deeper periods of sleep called REM. This means that you won’t be able to get the restful sleep needed to make you feel more alert and refreshed the next day. It’s best to abstain until you know that your sleep pattern is back to normal. Instead, stick to pure juices, water, and herbal teas (no caffeine).
Here are some nuggets of advice that’ll help you prepare and get the most out of your airport nap, should you find yourself having to take one:
3. Go outdoors
it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the travelling and just want to spend some time indoors. However, the natural light outside will tell your circadian rhythm when it’s time to be awake and when you need to go to sleep. Start by taking an invigorating morning stroll outside if it’s sunny. Expose yourself safely to sunlight throughout the day, and make sure that you soak up as much vitamin D as possible. Doing this will help to reset your internal clock.
4. Try some exercise
Exercise is always good for you, but it’s particularly useful when you need to update your sleeping patterns. Studies from Psychology Today have proven that consistent exercise is excellent for making you feel more alert and focused during the day. At the same time, if you exercise during the day, you’ll be more likely to fall asleep quickly at night and help you achieve deep-wave sleep.
5. Eat right
Finally, make sure that you stock up on plenty of sleep-healthy foods like cherries and bananas. These foods contain melatonin and tryptophan that are helpful for improving your sleep patterns. Additionally, they come with doses of magnesium and potassium that relax your muscles and get you ready for sleep.
While resetting your body clock after a long and exciting trip isn’t always easy, if you follow the tips above, you should be able to get back into a routine in no time.