Jet lag is probably one of the least fun things about travelling, and if you’re a frequent traveller, you know just how much it sucks to want to explore a new place, and be still want to do nothing but sleep! Jumping between time zone can have it’s toll, and though there’s no magic trick to make it go away, there are some things you can do to minimize the zombie-ness and the time it takes to adapt. No one wants to spend time napping when there are so many exciting things to discover!
Be smart when booking flights
If you can, book a flight that will work in your favor. If you’re flying east, book a morning flight, and if you’re flying west, book an afternoon flight. Also have a look at landing times, I usually prefer to land en the evening, so I can head to the hotel, have some dinner, and go to sleep right away. That way I find it easier to adapt and get up the next morning ready to explore!
Don’t skimp on the water. Jet lag is like a flight hangover, and we all know that the best way to avoid a hangover is to stay hydrated and drink a lot of water! Your seatmate might hate you for always running to the bathroom, but it’s for your own good! Besides, getting up and walking a bit is good for your circulation.
Skip the alcohol
Another good way to avoid a hangover, is to avoid the alcohol. Alcohol might sound like a good idea, but it will dehydrate you and make the jet lag worse. Also avoid sugary juices and coffee, stick to water or herbal tea!
Eat light meals
If you’re trying to sleep on the plane, eating heavy meals, lots of sugar, or drinking soda might not be the best way to go. Stick to lighter foods, protein or plant-based, making you feel fresh and not bloated.
Sleep on the plane
A pretty obvious one I guess. Bring a sleep mask (a lifesaver when travelling, if you don’t have a good one, get one!), prepare a calm playlist, and try falling asleep. Just make sure to fall asleep during nighttime of your destination, not your own!
Adjust your watch
Adjust your watch to local time even before boarding the plane, it doesn’t sound like much, but just looking at the time will make you mentally prepare!
Ok, so I know there’s very limited space to walk around on a plane, and no one wants to be the weirdo walking up and down the isle. But walking a little, keeping the blood flowing, and doing some mini-stretches in your seat, helps you feel a lot better when actually getting off the plane.
Let the sunshine in
Stop chugging coffee and go outside (or bring the coffee outside)! Sunshine triggers your body to wake up, gives you energy, and helps you reset that inner clock. If you arrive at your destination during the day, try to get as much light as possible. Chill by the pool, take a walk, or eat outside, it’ll help you get over that jet lag a lot quicker!
Sleep at night
If you land during the day, but feel that urge to pass out and take a little nap, fight it! Go walking, do something fun, have some activities planned already, just make sure to stay awake. Head back to the hotel when the sun starts to set, have an early night, and enjoy the next morning after a good night sleep!
Take a warm bath
Even though your tired, it might be really hard to unwind and actually fall asleep after a long flight. A good way to relax is to draw yourself a warm bath at the hotel and treat yourself a little. If you don’t happen to have a tub, a warm cup of tea is a good alternative.