Tips To Help You Beat Jet Lag
According to the ATO, the Air Traffic Organization of the FAA, over 45,000 flights carry more than 2.9 million passengers everyday. And of those 2.9 million travelers, most of those who travel across 2 or more time zones are victims of jet lag.
Jet lag, put simply, is your body adjusting to the daytime, nighttime change from where you’ve been, to where you’re going. And it’s interesting to note that jet lag is typically worse as you travel east as opposed to traveling west, because it’s easier for your body to adapt to the change going west…it’s easier to go to bed later than going to bed earlier.
Jet lag isn’t a serious condition, and usually only lasts a day or two, but it is uncomfortable and can be inconvenient.
Some of the symptoms you might experience are:
- Brain fog or lack of focus
- Upset stomach
- Generally just feeling “off”
Luckily there are ways you can minimize the symptoms of jet lag:
- Book your travel with a professional who knows airlines and schedules. You may have choices in flying times and that person can be a great resource, especially if they have traveled internationally and understand jet lag.
- Begin preparing your body before your travel begins….
- If possible, plan your arrival time for the late afternoon or in the evening. This will allow you to go to bed at a reasonable time, and let your body not only get rested, but start getting in sync with your new location’s time.
- Before the day of your travel, try eating and going to bed either an hour earlier or later than normal, depending which direction (east or west) you will be traveling.
- Change your watch to your destination’s time zone, while on the plane if you can…many watches and electronic devices change automatically and you don’t have control of them. But if you can, start adjusting to the times of your new location…if it will be nighttime, try to get some sleep, if it will be daytime, try not to get too much sleep during your flight. You will probably feel tired after your long flight, but getting some sun will help your body recognize that it’s time to be awake. If there is no sun, use other light sources such as lamps.
- If you are flying east, your body will experience less sunlight than it is used to. Since sunlight is so important, if at all possible, get in a little sun upon arrival, even if it’s just time for a short walk.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol…both disturb sleep and will slow down becoming adjusted to your new time zone. Your body will do much better if you can drink plenty of water.
- If you have traveled east, it may be difficult, but resist the urge to sleep in, in the morning. Wake up at a fairly decent hour, get out of bed and get moving. You will get over jet lag much quicker.
- Once you have reached your destination, try to avoid different foods for a day or two. Eating foods that your body is used to will be easier on your digestive system and help avoid stomach problems.
- While on the plane, move your body as much as possible.
- Try deep breathing
- Lift your knees
- Rotate your ankles
- Move your neck and head
- Tense and relax your leg muscles
- Try to move around the cabin when possible
- Other things that can help.
- Take an eye mask to block out the cabin light. Usually the attendants will dim the lights after the last serving.
- Ear plugs are another necessity.
- Take a small pillow that will snuggle your head so it doesn’t roll around. I cut a soft bed pillow in half and sewed up the end.
- Take a blanket to wrap up in. Luggage stores have light weight velour blankets. Take a vacuum bag you can also get at luggage stores to put the blanket and pillow in and squish out the air as you roll it up to put in your carry on.
- Don’t sit by a window because they can be very cold. Also there are cold air vents at the floor that will freeze you.
- Sit on the aisle so you can get out easily. Middle sections on the aisle are the best. Then people can get out on the other side and not disturb you.
- Taking off your shoes makes you feel more like you are in bed.
- If you are having problems with sleep, many people try using Melatonin, a natural supplement which tells your body it’s time to go to sleep. No guarantees, but it may help your body relax and go to sleep at the right time.
I am a seasoned traveler and travel agent…My specialty is vacation travel, and I love to give personal service, and be the warm hands you hold from the beginning to the end of your trip.
Contact me, together we can plan the vacation of your dreams.