The holiday season is a time of joy. Families come together for quality time and laughter. We eat, talk and reminsce about days gone by. However, the holidays can also include travel. No matter how much we’re looking forward to a trip to spend the holidays with loved ones, traveling can take a toll on our bodies and brains.
Whether you’re a seasoned travelor or a once a year vacationer, when traveling by air you’ve probably experienced jet lag. According to The Sleep Foundation, for years people believed jet lag was a mental issue. More recently, studies have shown that jet lag affects our physical and emotional bodies as well, due to the disruption travel has on our circadian rhythms. These rhythms are affected by exposure to light, which helps determine our sleep cycle.
When we cross into different time zones, our bodies become confused, and we begin to feel the effects of jet lag, such as:
When you combine travel jet lag with holiday stress, you get a double whammy in terms of the effect on our bodies and minds. But don’t worry – there are strategies you can employ to minimize the effects. Typically we’ll adjust to our new time zone in a day or two so traveling a day or two ahead of holiday gatherings may help. Another suggestion is to start implementing the new time zone a day or two ahead of your trip if possible.
One of the best ways to reset your circadian rhythms is to make sure you get plenty of bright spectrum light first thing in the morning in your new location. This helps shut down melatonin production and wakes your brain up for the day.
If you’re traveling at night, wearing blue blocker glasses can help you get rest on the plane and then get up as early as possible and get outside. This will help reset your melatonin production.
While these are all suggestions that can help you alleviate the physical and mental discomfort of jet lag, one of the easiest and healthiest solutions of all is to take a few minutes and BrainTap.
When you land at your destination, listening to an AM session will recharge your brain, allowing you to enjoy the rest of your day. Continuing to do this each morning – before your morning cup of coffee – will keep your body regulated to your new environment and help you begin each day at peak performance. At night, we highly recommend using our Healthy Sleep Habits series or a PM session to help you fall asleep quickly and stay asleep, giving your brain the rest and rejuvenation it needs each night.
Don’t let the stress of holiday travel ruin this special time of year. Click here to enjoy a 15 Day Free Trial and get back to the happy, healthy you this holiday season!
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