Beating Jet Lag

Today is Monday, I arrived in Sacramento last Thursday evening after 22 hours on three different airplanes and four airports. Adjusting to the new time zone and beating jet lag can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can try to minimize its effects. Here are some tips to help you overcome jet lag:

  1. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule: This one can be hard, especially if you have friends that you want to go out with the night before your flight. But, as much as possible, before your trip, gradually adjust your sleep schedule to match the time zone of your destination. Start going to bed and waking up an hour earlier or later each day, depending on your travel direction.

  2. Stay Hydrated: This one is easier. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate you and disrupt your sleep.

  3. Get Sunlight Exposure: Upon arrival, spend time outdoors and expose yourself to natural sunlight. This helps regulate your internal clock and signals your body that it's time to be awake. I jumped into my triathlon training routine the next day.

  4. Take Short Naps: If you're feeling extremely tired after your flight, take short naps (up to 20 minutes) to recharge. Avoid long naps that can interfere with your ability to sleep at night.

  5. Avoid Heavy Meals: Refrain from eating large, heavy meals close to bedtime, as they can disrupt your sleep. Opt for lighter meals during your adjustment period.

  6. Use Sleep Aids Sparingly: Consider using sleep aids only as a last resort and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. They can help you sleep during the initial adjustment period but may not be suitable for long-term use.

  7. Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Establish a calming bedtime routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.

  8. Be Patient and Give Yourself Time: Jet lag typically takes a few days to subside fully. Be patient with yourself and allow your body time to adjust to the new time zone.

Sleep and Recovery: Adequate sleep and proper recovery are crucial for your overall well-being, especially when dealing with jet lag and demanding activities like triathlon training. Make your sleep environment comfortable and conducive to relaxation. Consider incorporating practices like stretching, foam rolling, and relaxation techniques to support your body's recovery and reduce post-flight fatigue.

Remember, everyone's body reacts differently to jet lag, so find what works best for you. If possible, try to arrive at your destination a day or two before important events or commitments to give yourself ample time to acclimate. Taking care of your sleep and recovery will help you perform at your best during the competition! Ensure you prioritize getting enough rest during your stay in Lahti before the 70.3 World Championships.