When traveling, especially adjusting to a new time zone, jet lag is often a constant companion. Your body is coping up with the effects long flights. During your flight, you get very little sleep and it feels like a hangover. As you cross more time zones and make more stops, your jet lag gets worse. When you’re traveling long distances, the best thing you have to do is give yourself a full day to adjust. You have to give yourself a time to adapt a sleep-wake cycle, blood pressure, body temperature, digestion, and other physical functions to the new time zone.
Working out on how to prevent jet lag is easier if you know how your body works. Your body is naturally programmed to do the routinary things throughout the 24-hour period like eating and sleeping. If your built-in routines are broken, especially to change of time zones, it can lead to extreme fatigue along with other discomforts such as bowel problems, indigestion, loss of appetite and memory and concentrations issues. The effects of jet lag can vary depending on age, state of health and stress levels. TravelGenixx compiled some best tips to overcome jet lag.
Tips on How to Get Rid of Jet Lag
- If you are prone to jet lag, you should prepare at home before you travel or before your flight. The best thing to avoid jet lag is to adapt your body's rhythm a few days before your flight. If you are flying east, try to get some sleep a couple of hours earlier than usual. However, if you’re flying west, stay awake for one or two extra hours.
- Get a good night sleep before your departure. People tend to have just a few hours of sleep before they travel, whether it's due to pre-holiday excitement or last minute packing. Staying awake late whether before a short or long flight is a big mistake. Last minutes changes to your routine will make it harder for you to adjust to a new time zone. Having a good night sleep the night before your flight is the best remedy to cope with jet lag.
- When booking your plane ticket, especially for long flights, avoid arriving at night. Make sure that you opt for a flight that arrives in daylight. You still have time to stay awake for a few hours. If the sun's still shining, you'll be tempted to get out and explore, eat dinner and then finally head to bed.
- The night before your flight or pre-flight or on the plane, avoid the bar. The effects of alcohol at altitude can cause dehydration and increase tiredness and it makes it even harder to beat jet lag.
- While still on the plane, get yourself mentally prepared for the new time zone by setting your watch to the local time of your destination and keep yourself awake if you will be arriving still in daytime there.
- Often times, airplane food can cause jet lag, that's why don't fill yourself up with tons of food while on the plane. When you travel both in the air or ground, carbohydrate-rich food such as pasta, potatoes and rice can make you feel heavy and tired. When you're flying east, carbohydrate-rich food can be helpful to increase your need to sleep. However, if you're flying west, you should eat lighter food or more protein-rich food such as eggs, fish or meat to help you stay awake.
- When traveling, stay dehydrated. Drink a lot of water, but avoid alcoholic drinks and caffeine. The air inside the airplane is quite dry, so keep dehydrated by drinking lots of water. The best remedy to avoid jet lag is drink lots of water and fruit juices.
- For long flights, sleeping pills is a bad idea. They can't help you recover from jet lag and it will just leave you feeling fuzzy when you land at your destination. If you need to sleep, do it in a natural way by drinking herbal tea.
- Before a long flight, get as much daylight as you can. Sunlight can make you feel better.
- Do some exercise before a long flight in order to boost your endorphin and stretch out the kinks which can develop on long haul flights.