There’s nothing quite so daunting as a jet lag for a trip several time zones away. Musement shares some tips for softening the blow.
By following a few simple lifestyle rules and adopting some of these techniques, you’ll have the best chance of significantly reducing the effects jet lag has on your body.
Effects of jet lag— drowsiness or insomnia or even both combined, in addition to the fatigue caused by the long flight—can easily disrupt our holidays (or our return home). That said, here are some tips to help reduce those symptoms and speed up the process of adjusting our body to the current time zone—don’t hesitate to share your own tips in the comments.
1. It all starts before the flight
If you want to avoid suffering too much from jet lag, there are a few techniques to adopt before and during your flight. While it might seem obvious, we can never repeat it enough: eating healthy, hydrating well, and above all, avoiding alcohol abuse are essential before your departure. This same goes for during flights, stops and layovers. We also advise you to avoid any alcoholic or energy drinks the right before and during the entire journey.
2. Rest properly
Try to sleep as much as possible! Even if that’s not easy for everyone, try to take advantage of the flight time to rest as much as possible. Every extra hour of sleep adds to your energy and rest will be of course be more than profitable for you once you land. Be careful, however, if your arrival is scheduled for the evening: avoid sleeping during the last few hours of the flight in order to escape a first sleepless night at your destination.
3. Take some precautions during the flight
Get ready to face the many hours of flight that await you. Dress in soft clothes, en mou as our Quebec friends say, and in several layers. Make sure you bring everything you need to keep warm and comfortable. Don’t leave without your compression socks (fundamental for a long-haul trip), eye mask, travel cushion, earplugs and a book to avoid spending too much time in front of screens. Also, don’t hesitate to follow our advice to avoid getting sick when on the plane. Hydrate well and eat lightly.
4. Mind over matter
You must absolutely get into the rhythm from the first minute you land. Set your watch to local time and forget where you come from. Don’t think, “I’m tired because I’m already asleep at this time,” or, “I’m not hungry; my stomach still hasn’t caught up with the local mealtime.” Erase those thoughts from your mind and do what everyone around you is doing. Go to sleep at a normal time even if you don’t feel tired—and especially, don’t sleep more than usual. If you really feel the need, take a nap from time to time.
5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Don’t skimp on fresh, healthy, vitamin and potassium-rich products. Hydrate yourself as much as you can, get out and enjoy the fresh air and daylight as much as possible—above all, don’t coop yourself up inside. The external light will help you synchronize your internal clock to the local time. Engaging physical activity at appropriate times such as walking will help you get your body back on track, make you feel better and improve your sleep. Moreover, we also advise a little exercise right before the flight, like muscle strengthening or a long, brisk walk, all of which will only benefit you all the more.
6. Eat sparingly
Avoid overindulging on food just before going to sleep.
7. Visit a chiropractor
Finally, have you thought about seeing a chiropractor? Very few people know this, but your chiropractor can help you fight off jet lag, leap into the right time zone and improve your overall quality of sleep.