What methods are there for overcoming the effects of jet lag?

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When you go to study in the United States, jet lag is the biggest problem that plagues everyone. In order to help you, this article will introduce you to what methods are generally used by international students in the United States to deal with jet lag.

With the continuous exchanges and cooperation in economy, culture, education, etc. around the world, more and more students choose to study abroad. So, what methods do American students generally use to overcome jet lag? The following editor will provide you with a thorough overview.

1. Control your diet before taking off

Many strategies for jet lag will mention one point: control the biological clock with the destination’s work and rest early, but few mention that diet also has a great impact on sleep. A BBC documentary “The Ten Laws of Sleep” mentioned that after a 16-hour break from eating, the “food clock” takes over the brain’s sleep control and resets your routine the next time you eat. In the documentary, scientists compared a pair of athletes who often travel abroad, asking one of them not to eat anything before reaching their destination, and the other not to ask. The results showed that athletes who took a break from eating were significantly quicker to adapt to destination jet lag and performed better.

So, if you’re going abroad in the last two days, try not eating anything on the plane (you can drink water), and then resume eating at the first mealtime point after arriving at your destination.

For example, starting from Beijing at 2:00 pm, skipping meals, arriving in the United States at 10:00 am local time, and then having a good lunch at 12:00 pm, you may be able to sleep well at night.

2. Control light to assist sleep

A typical symptom of jet lag is waking up too early in the morning. Many students wake up at four or five in the morning on the first day they arrive in the United States, and then start to feel sleepy again at three or four in the afternoon, which is very delaying. At this point, consider reducing environmental distractions to aid sleep—for example, light.

In addition to being controlled by the biological clock, the human body’s sleepiness is also affected by a hormone called melatonin, and the secretion of melatonin is often subject to changes in external light. When the light is strong, it decreases, and vice versa. The reason why people wake up in the morning is that retinal cells sense changes in external light, which in turn affects melatonin. If you want to wake up later in the morning, completely blocking out the light in the room is one way to go. In addition to pulling the curtains, preparing a thick and easy-to-use eye mask can often help you sleep more deeply.

3. Drugs, food aids

During the jet lag, some people wake up too early, while others can’t fall asleep. If you have insomnia when it is time to go to bed, you may consider taking some sleep aids, such as the aforementioned melatonin. Melatonin is classified as a health product by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it can be bought in general pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreen.

Taking several tablets two to three hours before bedtime can make it easier to feel drowsy.

  In addition, drinking a little warm milk or honey water can also make you sleep better, but never use red wine to help you sleep. While alcohol has been shown to help people fall asleep quickly, it also reduces your deep sleep time and makes it easier to wake up in the second half of the night. Moreover, in the United States under the age of 21 are not allowed to drink…

4. After reaching the destination, don’t fall asleep

If the arrival time is during the day, do not fall asleep after checking in at the hotel. If your physical condition allows, you can go outdoors to bask in the sun, and natural light can help you adjust your biological clock. On the day of arrival, try to keep in sync with the local bedroom, so as to adapt to the local normal routine as soon as possible.

If you go west, feel the rising sun more in the early morning, and try to touch the sunset as little as possible in the evening, which will help your biological clock to slowly move backward. If you go east, on the contrary, don’t watch the sunrise, go to see the setting sun.

I will introduce the methods commonly used by international students in the United States for jet lag. I hope it can be helpful to applicants.

Click here to learn more about studying in the United States and to read related articles!

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