How to Beat Jet Lag and Enjoy Your Honeymoon
You'll make it through the emotional ceremony, celebrate your way to the reception, and relax on your honeymoon. At least that’s the plan. However, jet lag is notorious for leaving honeymooners sleeping through their one-on-one time. With some pre-trip planning, you can help your body adjust and make sure you’re wide-awake to enjoy this special time with your new spouse.
Trying to Keep Up with Modern Travel
Jet lag is a relatively new phenomenon. It's only in the last century that humans have had the ability to travel through several time zones in a single day. A little research revealed that the human body wasn't designed for that kind of travel, but don’t let that stop you from jumping on a plane to your dream honeymoon. Scientists now understand that jet lag is a result of the disruption of the body’s circadian rhythms, or internal clock. The human body runs on a predictable 24-hour schedule that’s controlled by a number of factors, including exposure to natural light. Once you start heading across time zones, the changes in the sun’s 24-hour cycle leaves your circadian rhythm scrambling to catch up. Fatigue, sleepiness, or nighttime wakefulness are a common result. Humans are no longer newbies to long-distance travel, which means we've learned how to counteract some of the effects of jet lag.
Ready Yourself for Relaxation
Preparation starts long before you step on the airplane and continues for your entire honeymoon. As you consciously make choices to reduce jet lag, you’ll find yourself more awake, alert, and ready to explore your destination.
Adjust Your Bedtime
Once you’ve hopped time zones, your body will try to catch up with the sun’s 24-hour cycle. You can give it a head start by adjusting your bedtime closer to that of your destination in 15 to 30 increments each day. Your body naturally tries to accommodate your preferred schedule so it will quickly adapt. Keep in mind that if you're traveling halfway across the world, you might have to prepare several days in advance.
Adjust Your Meal Timing
While the circadian rhythms largely control your sleep cycle, so too does your meal timing. Like your bedtime, you can give your body a head start by moving your mealtimes closer to those you’ll follow while on your honeymoon in daily 15 to 30-minute increments.
Remember Your Sleep Aids
Depending on your destination, you may not have access to any over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids. For example, melatonin, a sleep hormone naturally found in the human body, is a sleep aid that may not be available in all locations. If you need any medical sleep devices like a CPAP machine or an anti-snoring mouthguard, make sure they’re packed. You’ll need all the sleep help you can get.
Get Some Sunshine
Exposure to natural light will help your circadian rhythms more than almost anything else. Soak up some sun while lying on the beach or exploring the sites. If the weather keeps you indoors, try to find an indoor location with bright artificial light as it can suppress sleep hormones and keep you awake during the day.
Take (Limited) Naps
Naps can help you keep your energy levels up as you're battling jet lag. However, don't sleep the day away. Keep your naps to 15 to 30 minutes so you're still tired at night.
None of these suggestions are drastic. If you know what to expect and plan accordingly, jet lag won't keep you or your spouse from enjoying everything your destination has to offer.