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How Do I Adjust to Living in a New Time Zone?

December 19, 2014 | Long Distance Moves

Whether you’re moving abroad for school, work or pleasure, adjusting to a new time zone can be difficult. Being prepared for the changes ahead can make all the difference when it comes to adjusting to your new home.

There’s a good chance you’ve spent months preparing paperwork, hiring a professional moving company and scoping out your new area. With all  these to-dos, the thought of adjusting to a new time zone might slip your mind. Don’t let it! Use the tips below to streamline your transition.

How do I adjust to living in a new time zone?

Adjusting to a new time zone can be tough. Make the process easier by following this guide:

What to do before the flight:

1. Slowly adapt to your new sleeping schedule

A month to two weeks before you leave, start reorienting your sleeping schedule to match your destination’s time zone. This can be tough to do—do your best by going to bed 15 minutes earlier each day. Continue shaving down your bedtime by 15 minutes  until you’ve fully adjusted. By doing so, your body will have the energy it needs to start moving in when you arrive.

2. Rest for three days before you leave

To feel rested after your flight, make sure you do most of your resting before departure. For three days before you leave, keep activities to a minimum. This is why it is crucial that you don’t leave all your packing and moving tasks to the last minute!

3. Cut back on alcohol, caffeine and sugar

These substances don’t just keep you awake; they also make it harder for your body to adjust to its circadian rhythm. They put stress on your body, which means you’ll feel exhausted when you arrive.

Cut alcohol, caffeine and sugar back or out of your diet for at least three days prior to your flight. It’s also best to avoid heavy meals the day before your flight. Your body uses heavy meals as part of its circadian rhythm. If you avoid eating them until after you arrive, you’ll adjust more quickly.

4. Drink plenty of water

A hydrated body adapts to a new sleep schedule more quickly. Make sure you drink about 8 cups of water daily during the week preceding your relocation. Your body needs to get used to feeling hydrated. A single glass of water before your flight won’t help you fight jet lag, so be prepared.

What to do during the flight:

1. Drink more water

Aircraft cabins have very dry air and will dehydrate you quickly. Maintain your hydration by drinking plenty of water during your flight. Remember, airport security allows empty water bottles. Save some money by refilling your bottle once you’re through the security line!

2. Sleep or stay awake depending on arrival time

If you’re arriving early in the morning, try to sleep during the flight. However, if you’re arriving in the evening, try not to sleep. Force yourself to stay awake by stretching, walking down the aisles, listening to music or a podcast or reading a book.

Even if staying awake exhausts you, you’ll arrive tired enough to go to bed at the correct hour for that time zone. This will give you a head start on your transition!

3. Reset your watch

While you fly, you should get your mind used to thinking about time in your new area. Set all your technology —like your watch that doesn’t automatically change—to the new time zone.

What to do after the flight:

1. Go to bed or eat breakfast depending on arrival time

For a quick transition, act like you’ve always lived in that time zone as soon as you arrive. Don’t take a quick nap and don’t eat a heavy meal if you plan to go to bed. Do whatever the locals do at that hour!

If you arrive in the morning, go for a brief walk. The sunlight will help your body regulate its rhythm. Breakfast will, too! If you arrive at night, feel free to have a small snack and go straight to bed.

2. Use melatonin

If you have trouble falling asleep in the new time zone, take melatonin. If you’re moving internationally, you might have to buy it before you go abroad,as many countries don’t offer the supplement over the counter.

Get help from a professional cross country moving company

Now that you know how to adjust to your new time zone, you can go forward with confidence! Use our tips to jump into the new culture as soon as you land.

For more information or to hire a professional moving company for your international move, get in touch with the experts at Bekins Van Lines today! Cross country moves can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help make your transition as easy as possible.

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