Changing time zones during travel or daylight savings can be difficult. There’s a reason this change is hard: Our bodies run on an internal clock of their own—circadian rhythm.
One main factor of the circadian rhythm is light, which tells our bodies when to sleep and when to wake. Dealing with time changes largely depends on how we adjust our sleeping patterns.
Sleep is vital to maintaining a healthy brain, balanced hormones, and proper regulation of body functions. Ease your body back into a regular rhythm after a change in your normal time.
1. Resist the Urge to Nap
It can be tempting to hit the hay as soon as your reach your final destination. Try to stay up but, if you must, keep the naps to a maximum of 20 minutes. When it’s dark out, you’ll be able to fall—and stay—asleep. Your internal clock will adjust to the new time, following the natural light patterns your circadian clock craves.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Hydration is key when you need to adjust your body’s internal clock, so drink plenty of fluids before and during your travels. While on the plane, choose water (preferably bottled water) over mixed drinks and M&Ms. Your body and smile will thank you.
3. Live Like a Local
While traveling, plan what you’re going to do when you get there. Setting your routine to the local time can speed your body’s adjustment to the change.
Feel the rhythm! Preparation and calculated adjustments will make it easier for you to enjoy your time.