Why you feel jet lagged this week without even travelling
Are you feeling absolutely wiped out this week?
You’re not imagining it.
Despite us having had an extra hour in bed on Sunday, many will be feeling particularly groggy and out of sorts these past few days.
To those who regularly travel, this immense tiredness will feel familiar – it’s a lot like jet lag.
But why are we experiencing the lag without the benefit of actually having travelled anywhere?
There’s a simple explanation: as the clocks go back, our internal body clocks tend to struggle – yep, even when it’s just an hour’s difference.
Professor Kevin Morgan, sleep expert at Loughborough University, says: ‘Clock times (from BST to GMT) change instantly; body clocks take longer to catch up.
‘In the week following the clock change, we experience a one hour “social jet lag”, which is equivalent to the jet lag felt after flying to Reykjavik from the UK.’
The experts from CBD brand Love Hemp explain that this change in our sleep and wake cycles – along with the darker evenings and colder temperatures – triggers symptoms such as feeling tired, hungry, or wide-awake at the ‘wrong’ times.
Some people will be more sensitive to this lingering impact than others, much in the same way that while your pal can be pretty much unaffected after a long haul flight, you might be snoozing your way through lunch.
TikTok-recommended sleep hacks
Wear socks to bed
According to pediatrics resident Dr. Jess Andrade, socks help to cool the body down and tell the body that it’s time for bed.
Limit light in the evening
Remember how melatonin works with our circadian rhythm? Dr. Andrade also recommends avoiding laptop and phone screens before you go to bed to help your body produce melatonin.
Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique
At 1.4m views, Tiktok’s Dr. Bruce, aka ‘The Sleep Doctor’, suggests breathing in for a count of 4, holding for 7, then breathing out for 8. This allows the lungs to empty out any carbon dioxide, encouraging fresh air in and meaning your heart has to work less. Less work = more chance of falling asleep faster.
Eat a snack to top up glucose levels
Tiktok health coach Andy Jay suggests eating a fatty or sugary snack just before bed to keep glucose levels topped up throughout the night, in turn avoiding a melatonin drop at around 3 or 4am that may wake you up. At 1.2m views, TikTokers hail medically-approved late night snacking.
Relax to ASMR
ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is described as a tingling sensation that induces calm and sleepiness. Triggers include tapping on objects, soft whispering and hand movements.
The good news is that you don’t need to do much to remedy this clock change jet lag – your body will catch up eventually, and by next week you should be be back to your normal self.
But to help get to that point, make sure you’re prioritising getting enough good quality sleep.
It can also help to expose yourself to plenty of daylight, to help jog your body along to sync up with the daytime’s rhythms.
Try throwing open your curtains and blinds first thing in the morning, or go for a walk on your lunch break.
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