Monday, June 6, 2016

Don't Let Jet Lag Spoil Your Maui Vacation

There is nothing worse than planning an amazing vacation to Maui complete with surfing, luaus and exciting sightseeing excursions only to spend days in bed struggling to overcome the dreaded jet lag. We want you to enjoy your island getaway as much as you do. Here are some tips to help combat jet lag.

So What Is Jet Lag?

Those all too common symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, nausea and headaches are the result of a traveler’s circadian rhythm being thrown out of whack. Travel across two to three time zones or more can cause a disruption in your circadian rhythm. The more time zones you travel across, the more severe the symptoms are likely to be. Sufferers of jet lag can require up to a day of recovery for each time zone crossed. Symptoms are often worse when losing time by traveling east.

How Can I Prevent Jet Lag?

Because the symptoms of jet lag are caused by the disruption of the circadian rhythm, the best way to prevent the temporary sleeping disorder is to ease yourself into a new rhythm. Try going to sleep 15 to 30 minutes later every day for three to four days if you’re traveling west. Do the opposite, moving bedtime up 15 to 30 minutes for three to four days, if you’re traveling east. Make sure to get at least seven hours of sleep for at least two nights prior to your flight.

Continue to adjust your circadian rhythm before the trip by simulating other aspects of the destination. Exposure to natural light is a big factor in a person’s sleep cycle. If you’re traveling west, get plenty of bright morning sunshine and avoid afternoon and evening light in the run up to your trip. The inverse is recommended when traveling east. Mealtimes are another cue that dictates the circadian rhythm, so try to have your meals closer to the destination’s mealtimes. Your friends will think you’re European.

Is There Anything I Can Do En Route?

Factors such as pressurized cabins and a lack of movement during travel can cause oxygen levels in the blood to drop, resulting in dehydration and discomfort. While it’s not always possible to move around during your flight, try stretching in your seat. Neck rolls, straight-ahead arm circles and lower back stretches will get the blood flowing. Get in as many shuttle runs up and down the aisle as you can before the flight attendant shuts you down.

Sleeping during the flight might not be such a good idea. If it will be nighttime at your destination upon arrival, take a mile-high nap, but try to stay awake if you’ll be arriving during the day.

I’m Still Lagging. What Can I Do?

While preparing for the circadian rhythm adjustment will help to mitigate the symptoms of jet lag, it may not completely prevent them. If you land in Maui and still feel awful, use natural light to reset your internal clock. Go for a walk in the sunshine first thing in the morning. This will help to shut off your body’s production of melatonin. Speaking of melatonin, when all else fails, melatonin supplements taken at sunset will help you to fall asleep.

Be sure to read our other blog posts for more helpful travel tips, and share this article with a friend!

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