Let’s just face it.
Jet lag sucks!
The worst part, there is no magic solution to get over jet lag quicker. For some it’s harder to deal and with and for others it’s easier, but no matter who you are, it really sucks. Jet lag ruins the first few days of vacation for hundreds of thousands of us around the world.
It’s not our fault. It’s a chemical thing in our body and resetting your internal clock is harder than you think. It is going to take a combination of mental and physical tricks on your body.
Let’s take a look at the tips below to help you get over jet lag quicker and adjust to your new time zone.
- Adjust your schedule – Before you fly, try and adjust your schedule to line up with your destination time zone as much as possible. Obviously you can’t start going to sleep at 4:00pm, but you can do things like going to sleep a few hours earlier or staying up a few hours later.
- Reset your watch – As soon as you board the plane, reset your watch. It’s a mental thing. The plane windows will generally be closed throughout most of the flight and most airlines try and adjust their food and service times to match up with your destination country. Between the changed time on your watch, lack of sunlight as orientation, meal times; you will subconsciously aligning yourself with your destination time zone.
- Reset your body – Sleep when you are supposed to. If you are flying during the day time and arriving at your destination at night, you will want to stay awake during the daytime hours at your destination. This way you will be ready for sleep when you arrive. Alternatively, if you are flying during the night in your destination time zone, try your best to get some sleep on the plane.
- Avoid taking naps after arrival – If you arrive in the day time, try your best to stay awake until night and go to sleep at a normal time. This will prevent you from waking up in the middle of the night. The best way to avoid sleeping when you first arrive in a new country is to go out and do some exploring. Avoid resting in the hotel, because you’ll most likely just fall asleep. If you must take a nap, try and keep it under 30 minutes.
- Drink water – I know this sounds weird and it’s not directly related to jet lag, but it’s a good idea. You airplane air is extremely dry and most people get dehydrated while flying. It doesn’t help that a lot of us drink alcohol as well. Make sure to drink plenty of water while flying to prevent any dehydration. A healthy body can adjust to a new time zone quicker.
- Sleep aids – For some sleep aids are an option to help them get a good night’s rest at their destination for the first few evenings. I recommend if you choose sleep aids try something natural and over the counter like melatonin. It’s a natural hormone produced in our body at night which tells us it’s time to sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping in your new destination you can try taking one an hour before bedtime.
We could separate it all into any number of tips depending upon how specific we want to be, but the long and short of it is to act as if. As much as possible, act as if you are already there. Adjust your daily routine at home as much as feasible before you leave and once in the air, act as if you are there by eating, sleeping, and modifying your references to align with your destination.
Author’s Favorite Travel Gear
Flents Quiet Time – I am a terribly light sleeper and have trouble falling or staying asleep on a plane when other people are making noise. These do as good a job as any ear plugs I have found. Just as importantly, the soft foam makes them really comfortable.
Cabeau Evolution Travel Pillow – Ok. So I have tried a number of different travel pillows, even this funky looking thing. This one has to be my all time favorite. It gives more head support than most, is more comfortable than inflatable versions, and compresses to a fraction of its size so I can easily stash it in my pack.
iPad Mini – I generally hate Apple products. I’ll never buy an iPhone or a Mac computer. I find them overpriced and unintuitive after using Windows and Android for so long. Somehow I got hooked on the iPad Mini after constantly using my girlfriends after my tablet broke on one of our trips. It’s battery life is truly impressive.