Maintaining a sleep schedule can improve your sleep quality. However, flying to another country can affect your sleep schedule.
According to Charlene Gamaldo, Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep’s medical director, people have an optimal period when their bodies want to sleep, which is usually 11p.m to 7 a.m. This is commonly known as the ‘circadian window’. That is why if someone travels across two time zones, it can end up affecting the circadian window of that person.
It is, however, possible to reduce your sleep disruption. Here are the best tips for reducing your sleep disruption:
You need to move your normal bedtime one hour earlier three days before you travel. Then, on the second evening, you also move your sleep time another one hour early. On the third day, you move your normal bedtime three hours earlier. According to Gamaldo, it takes one day per time zone for the body to adjust. You can, therefore, plan ahead to ease your transition. Find out which mattress to buy at Mattress Firm to ensure that you are getting the best night’s sleep inbetween travelling.
Follow the Local Schedule
Once you reach your destination, you can follow the local schedule. According to Gamaldo, if you land in the middle of the day, do not go to sleep. She recommends sleeping on the plane since you will land in the middle of the day. However, if you land at night, you can sleep once you land. That is why you need to avoid sleeping on the plane.
Adhere to the Two-Day Rule
Gamaldo says, “If you do not plan to stay in your destination for more than two days, you can follow your own sleep schedule. You will arrive home when your body adapts.” You, however, need to ensure your meetings happen when you should be awake at home. You can request your meetings to happen during your normal peak waking hours.
Gamaldo suggests wearing sunglasses to reduce your light exposure, especially if you land early in the morning. However, you need to get more light exposure in the late mornings and early afternoons. Why? It can help shift rhythm close to the time zone of your destination.
According to Gamaldo, the goal is to change your clock to ensure it is closer to your bedtime, even if you are in a new time zone. If you plan to travel west, you can get more light exposure in the early evenings. You can even go for a walk or eat outdoors to push your rhythm.
Gamaldo recommends exercising outdoors to trigger your circadian rhythm. You can even take a warm shower to trigger your circadian rhythm. If you can increase your core body temperature, you can trigger your circadian rhythm.
The body produces more melatonin two hours before your bedtime. Melatonin prepares the body for rest. If you want to travel, you can help your body to produce melatonin. You can, therefore, purchase nonprescription sleep and take them. Taking melatonin can help you sleep asleep and avoid disrupting your sleep schedule.