Tic Toc: a Tourist’s Inner Clock

If you live in Northern America, Europe or some parts of Australia, you are most probably familiar with the concept of daylight saving time. What is more, you’ve just experienced it, just like the inhabitants of Poland have. We bet you are excited about the days getting longer and you can feel spring in the air, but on the other hand you might also be a bit miserable, because advancing the clock by one hour has affected your sleeping patterns and you need to adapt to a new reality.

This experience gives you a foretaste of what tourists traveling to Poland from different time zones have to deal with: the infamous jet lag. If you travel from New York to Warsaw, your inner clock thinks it’s six hours earlier than the local clocks tell you. Adapting to a new time zone may take a few days and you may experience fatigue, which is something you would rather avoid when on holiday. But there are some ways to help you fool your inner clock and make the adaptation process go more smoothly. When traveling to Poland, try to implement some of the following tips and advice to deal with the jet lag.

You can prepare yourself for what is coming already before the trip. It is a good idea to relax your daily schedule and avoid rigid routine. Finish the washing, ironing and packing a few days before departure, so that you skip the frenzy and have a good night’s sleep before you set off.

If you can choose the time of your flight, pick one that will let you arrive in daylight. The shining sun will help you beat the tiredness and make you more eager to start exploring Warsaw, Kraków or other beautiful Polish cities that are your destination.

Avoid alcoholic beverages when on board of a plane. Tempting as it may be to start your holiday with a good glass of wine or a tasty drink, it will only increase your tiredness and cause dehydration. Yes, we know that Polish vodka is famous all around the world, but don’t worry, you will have plenty of time to taste it once you arrive. Coffee, cola, energy drinks and other beverages that are rich in caffeine should also be avoided. If you want to recover from jet lag as quickly as possible, keep your body hydrated by drinking enough water.

As soon as you get on your plane, set your watch to show the local time at your destination. This will have a psychological effect that will make it easier for you to adjust to the new time zone.

Once you arrive, try to stay awake until bedtime. Daylight, fresh air and exercise will help you achieve that. Don’t stay at your hotel, go out and do some sightseeing. If you feel you can’t make it without falling asleep, try taking a short, 10- or 15-minute-long nap. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a 3-hour-long nap, which will only make your sleep schedule more disrupted.

You can consider taking melatonin before bedtime during your first days at your new destination. It is a hormone that helps you regulate your circadian rhythm. Keep in mind that sleeping pills should be used wisely, always consult a doctor before you decide to take them.
Long-haul flights and jet lag can be tiring, but before you get depressed about it, think of how exciting your holiday in Poland will be. No doubt you will beat the timezone tiredness in no time and enjoy the sightseeing.

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