The weddings over and you finally have a chance to enjoy some quality time alone with your new spouse. Unfortunately, if you’re traveling too far from home, jet lag may make you both so groggy you miss all that your honeymoon destination has to offer.
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“Jet lag” wasn’t even a term until the 1960’s when passenger jets could carry people through several time zones in one day. Soon, travelers realized that while the mind might be willing, the body isn’t able to jump time zones so easily.
In the region of the brain that controls your internal clock, called the hypothalamus, are special cells that regulate your sleep-wake cycle. These cells use light signals to keep your entire body in sync. However, when you start skipping time zones, they get mixed up. Until these cells get caught up with local time, you experience jet lag. Our bodies naturally run on a cycle that is slightly longer than 24 hours, which makes it easier to extend your day rather than shorten it, making it easier to travel west.
No matter which direction you’re traveling, if you’ll be flying five or six time zones away, you should start preparing in advance.
- Gradual Bedtime Change
Slowly changing your sleep schedule before you depart can help make the full adjustment of avoiding jet lag go much faster once you arrive at your destination. A few days in advance, move your bedtime 30 to 60 minutes closer to the time you’ll be sleeping while on your honeymoon. Move your bedtime closer by another 30 to 60 minutes each day. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, create the ideal conditions in your bedroom—supportive mattress, complete darkness, cool temperature, and absolute quiet. While you might not be completely ready for the local time when you arrive, you’ll be closer.
- Adjust Your Meal Timing
Light isn’t the only factor that helps your body stay on a regular sleep-wake cycle. Your meal timing also plays a role. Adjust your meals by 30 to 60 minutes each day to help give your body a jump start in the new time zone. However, your meals should still be regularly spaced throughout the day.
In Flight Preparation
- Nap Carefully
On long flights, use naps strategically if you wish to avoid jet lag. If you are arriving at your destination in the morning, sleep on the plane as much as possible. Conversely, if you’ll be landing in the evening, stay awake on the flight so that you’re ready to fall asleep once you arrive.
- Skip Alcohol
Leaving on your honeymoon should feel like a celebration, but skip the alcohol while in flight. It can make you drowsy when you need to stay awake or cause restlessness when you need to sleep.
You might feel tempted to grab a drink, but if you wish to avoid jet lag in order to enjoy your honeymoon, be sure to stay away from the drink specifically on the plane.
At Your Destination
- Get Some Natural Light
Your brain needs light to get it back on a regular sleep cycle. Get as much natural or bright artificial light during the day as possible. The more time you can spend outside, the better off you’ll be.
- Nap Wisely to avoid jet lag
Naps have already been on the list, but they’re important enough they deserve extra consideration. Short naps during the day won’t hurt your jet lag, but you don’t want to sleep the day away. Make sure you sent an alarm or two so you don’t sleep longer than 30 to 60 minutes.
This amazing post was guest posted by At Sleep Help where they promote awareness of sleep, health, and wellness.
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