Jet lag is a bit of a new thing that is happening to people all across the globe. Considering it’s only because we’ve been flying for a short amount of time on the “human life scale” it makes sense.
Jet lag is when you suffer from extreme tiredness and other physical effects after you have a long flight over a number of times zones. It affects our circadian rhythm (that thing that tells us it’s bed time and time to wake up) and leaves us with headaches, exhaustion, grumpiness and all around dazed. A rule of thumb I like is every time zone you cross it will take a day to adjust. So if you travel from Edmonton to London you will cross 7 time zones resulting in a week of jet lag. Make sense? Obviously it could take shorter time to recover from jet lag but it gives you a pretty good idea to know what you’re in for!
To help you minimize your jet lag here are some things you can do so you can go off gallivanting the globe without loosing too much time to sleep!
Limit food on the plane and before bed
I know it’s hard not to eat everything when you are travelling. Travelling really takes it out of you and you feel compelled to eat because you need the energy to keep you functioning. My tips is to eat fruits over carbs. I find carbs harder to digest and they make me sleepy in result. The sugars from fruit give me those little bursts of energy I need to get me through the day till until I deem it bedtime!
Stay up until the sun sets (or at least 8PM)
It’s going to be hard but if you arrive early in the morning you’ll need to stay awake and avoid naps. This way you will tucker yourself out and hopefully sleep till 4:30-5 which I find totally reasonable to wake up at! And maybe you’ll be able to sleep a little later than that! Just don’t sleep in too much because you want to start off your circadian rhythm on a good note. When you wake up early you give yourself time to adjust to the time zones and you are awake for the sunrise! Who doesn’t want that!?
Remember it’s okay to relax
You’re in a new country and you’re ready to explore. Nothing can stop you, not even jet lag, but suddenly you get a wave of the sleepys and your fire starts to slow down. You feel guilty about wanting to take a rest and try to fight the urge to go to the hotel. Don’t. Listen to your body. Just make sure you don’t pass out in the middle of the afternoon!
Sleep on the plane
This is easier said than done but try to get some rest on the plane. Facemasks (Journelle Oui/Non Sleep Mask), noise cancelling headphones, and those goofy pillows that wrap around your neck can help you get some sleep on a flight. I prefer night flights so I am already tired once I’m on the plane so even if I get an hour of sleep on an 8 hour flight that still counts as a bad sleep.
Book your flights for a PM arrival
This is something that helps me the most when I am fighting jet lag. If I arrive somewhere at 8PM I am usually at the hotel by 10PM and can immediately pass out and restart my clock right away. Book flight times that will help affect your circadian rhythm the least!
Jet lag is kind of like a flight hangover and the best ways to prevent a hangover is to stay hydrated (and not drink alcohol). You’ll probably be running to the bathroom a lot but it’s for your own good! It will also force you to get up and walk around the plane which will help your circulation.
Sit in the shower
Or a bath if you like that better. Nothing feels better than getting plane grime and sweat off of you after a long travel day! The shower can either wake you up or put you to sleep depending on what kind of person you are. Regardless it leaves you feeling fresher than before and will prepare you for your amazing travel journey.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
Caffeine will keep you up and alcohol will put you to sleep. Alcohol will still leave you feeling groggy and less rested compare too if you had just fallen asleep naturally. These two can be temping but try to watch you caffeine intake if you know it will keep you up! And even though alcohol (wine..) will put you to sleep it will also dehydrate you and start you off on the wrong foot!
How do you help your jet lag woos? Have you ever experienced reallyyyyy bad jet lag? Share in the comments!
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