“There’s no place like home.” – Wizard of Oz
Each summer, I usually plan one vacation home, even during my time at ESPN despite having only 2 weeks off a year. During July and August, there are multiple family celebrations that I eagerly look forward to, but since I recently traveled home for my sister’s graduation in May, I knew it was very unlikely that I could visit again. However, when Rocket (my husband) shared his work travel plans, I seized the opportunity to fly home, instead of being Home Alone in Dubai again!
After 20 hours of travel, I finally arrived home, although unplanned at the same time as my youngest brother returning from China. It was amazing to see how far our family has traveled and the progress we are making. I have never been to China, but my brother gave vivid details about his cultural experiences, as well as his time playing professional basketball. I can’t wait for Rocket and I to visit Beijing soon!
Once we arrived home, my brother stayed up for 2 hours before it hit him: JET LAG! He slept through the evening, waking up at 1 am after everyone else had fallen asleep. That same day, I chose to stay up longer, falling asleep at the normal time only to wake up at 4 am. The first week home, I tried and tested techniques suggested by Rocket, to combat jet lag while my brother chose to forgo my advice resulting in an extended adjustment period. My younger cousin even teased my brother about how badly I beat him at the jet lag game!
Although my brother returned from having a strenuous basketball schedule while in China, which probably contributed to his extended jet lag, there are still some ways to overcome it quicker! I traveled from Dubai, to Paris, and then London before reaching home. It was a pretty tough travel schedule and in addition my bag was lost in Paris! Despite a long trip, I continued with these tips and didn’t have any problems adjusting to my new time zone.
How I Overcome Jet Lag:
- Drink Water – Although it’s important to drink water during the flight, staying hydrated a few days before your flight as well as during your trip will shorten your adjustment time. I normally don’t drink as much water as I should, but Rocket does a good job of reminding me before I travel!
- Rest – I would definitely recommend getting as much rest as you can before your flight and I should try doing that one time! Unfortunately, I always seem to have last minute tasks to accomplish before rushing out the door. Its stressful and everytime I lament about better preparation next time (I’m still waiting on that “next time”). While on the plane, I sleep as soon as possible and upon waking up I like to watch a movie or read a book before going back to sleep. I try to rest at least as much as I would have, with a normal night’s sleep.
- Sunlight: The first time I traveled to Dubai, Rocket took me to the beach immediately to walk along the sandy shores and sit poolside at the Westin in the Marina. He explained that sunlight (vitamin D) is key to overcoming jet lag and it works for me.
- Sleep – As hard as it might be, it’s important to sleep according to the the time zone you are currently in. It might be hard at first, but the faster you can sleep based on your new schedule the better it will be for you.
- Exercise – Physical activity is known to maintain health, improve moods, and can also affect our circadian rhythms. Exercise combined with light exposure can dramatically decrease the effects of jet lag.