When flying across time zones, it affects our ‘Circadian Rhythm’ which is our internal clock.
Our Circadian Rhythm keeps us in rhythm with nature and in particular works with the rise and fall of the sun, or in light and dark. By changing the time of our eating, sleeping and waking, it upsets everything from our sleep to our digestion which is why we often feel dreadful. Our body also has particular times over the 24hour cycle where our digestive fire is higher and lower which is why our digestion also gets upset with jet lag.
After a long flight, be light on our digestion, don’t go head long into a gourmet dinner.
According to Ayurveda, there are times when the mind is quieter, more creative or heavy. Drastic time changes through flying across time zones has a tendency to create mental chaos. On arrival, it’s important to rest the mind and body on the first day you arrive at your destination. You’ll truly be more creative, or you’ll enjoy yourself more if you have a light day after a long flight.
Light and dark are fundamental to our sleep pattern.
There are three hormones involved in our sleep cycle – tryptophan, melatonin and serotonin. Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces Serotonin. Serotonin regulates sleep, calms you down and is light sensitive, and melatonin controls your sleep cycle. They are totally interrelated. As the evening draws in the darkness, the body’s serotonin levels rise and melatonin is released to start the natural sleep cycle. On flights if it is our intention to sleep, try using an eye mask…and make it a comfortable one!
To minimise the effect of long flights you should start by being fully resourced.
Make sure you’re fully hydrated and don’t drink alcohol the day before flying. Dehydration will make you tired and quite likely give you a headache. Also stay hydrated on the flight by drinking lots of water. Get some early nights and make sure you take in plenty of oils like Udos oil, olive oil or ghee and get a good massage!
My top 10 sleep tips for the 24 hours following touchdown
- If possible give yourself 24hours before you plan anything after the flight
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Unpack and get yourself settled so you are not in chaos and surrounded by your luggage!
- Lay on your bed and put your legs up the wall for 10 minutes and take nice long deep breaths
- Eat something light (juices, salads, soups, fruit – avoid heavy greasy foods)
- Get a good massage or do self-massage with sesame seed oil
- Do a Yoga Sleep Practice as soon as possible
- No coffee or alcohol for 24 hours
- Get good oils into the body e.g. Omega’s, olive oil or ghee
- Make sure you have your Neom Wellbeing on the go kit for your arrival TLC.
Have a great trip!