So you’ve packed your bag, boarded the plane, and eventually landed in the new or desired vacation destination. You arrive at your accommodation of choice and proceed to freshen up to explore, but suddenly, that deep, dense, heavy, dragging tiredness hits, and you realize that it can only be one thing….JET LAG!
Jet lag occurs when your body’s internal clock and the local time at your destination are misaligned. Our circadian rhythm and internal body clock stay in our original time zone while physically elsewhere. This disconnect between our internal clock and our body results in jet lag. So, how can you avoid jet lag and enjoy the most from your next trip? We’ve compiled some great suggestions for you….
Be sure to drink plenty of water to help stave off dehydration and thus jet lag. Though coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages may be tempting on your next flight, consider opting for H2O instead. If the inflight cocktail/wine is too irresistible, chase it with some water.
Though the plane’s cabin probably won’t be equipped with a state-of-the-art gym, walking the aisle or stretching can help your body feel less tired. If your first stop after a long flight is your hotel, make your way to the gym or pool first instead of ‘hitting the hay’. Movement gets the blood flowing for better circulation and helps us resist jet lag.
Vitamins C, D and B are great choices to keep jet lag at bay, and both help our bodies remain energized. They aid in keeping our immune systems strong, elevate our moods, and assist with red blood cell production. In addition to taking supplements, opting for fruit juice from the inflight drink cart can also boost energy while on your way to your vacation spot.
Align your circadian rhythm
It may be a challenge, but this tip is certainly one worth mentioning. Match the time zone you are going to and not the one you are coming from. Instead of settling right into sleep on your flight, stay up if the time at your destination will be during your waking hours. IF the time at your destination is night, take a nap and try to sleep on the plane.
Of course, we know in-flight meals are hit or miss, often erring more on the missing side, but if you would like to minimize your jet lag, avoid any greasy/fatty foods. Your stomach and sleep pattern after you land will thank you.
Pressure and anxiety
From an external perspective, pressure in our ears can make our flight uncomfortable and cause headaches. Stress and anxiety can further hinder us from relaxing from an internal perspective. So to remedy pressure from the high altitudes, try yawning or chewing gum to release your fears of the physical pressure. Or travel with a tennis ball to massage the neck, legs, or feet to loosen tense muscles. Try meditation, breathing techniques, a therapeutic travel pillow, or noise-canceling headphones for any internal anxiety.
Though many will be eager to get out and explore when they touch down on the tarmac, it may be helpful to take a few hours (or whole day) to rest, recover, go slow, and get back to feeling like normal again! Your trip will be more enjoyable, and your body will be grateful you gave it a bit of a rest before being on the go again.
Don’t let jet lag be a drag on your next vacation, whether domestic or international. Follow the above tips and tricks so you can avoid jet lag altogether. After all, every little bit helps.