After traveling across multiple time zones you feel sluggish and fatigued upon arrival. At your destination, you’re sleepy when everyone else is wide awake and you find it difficult to get to sleep at bedtime. This is jet lag, a pain in the neck most travelers encounter.
You may not be able to prevent jet lag entirely, but you can certainly minimize the effect as well as the length of time you are subjected to it. These tips should help lessen the effects of jet lag so you can get to the serious business of having fun sooner.
Adjust to your new time zone to help beat jet lag
Our top tip for beating jet lag is to begin to slowly adjust to your destination’s time zone for a few days before your flight. Go to sleep and wake up earlier by half an hour each day, or sleep and wake later depending on the direction you are going and your point of departure; east to west or west to east. Although you will still feel jetlagged, the closer you get to your destination’s sleep pattern the less the effects of jet lag are likely to be once you arrive. Preparing yourself for your new time zone is one indicator of how long jet lag lasts on your trip.
Consider over-the-counter melatonin to ease you into your destination’s time zone. Some travelers swear by it, and others claim it has no effect on them whatsoever.
HOW LONG DOES JET LAG LAST? TIPS FOR BEATING JET LAG ON YOUR FLIGHT
Set your watch
Set your watch to your destination’s time zone as soon as you board the plane. This is purely psychological but why not give yourself every shot at reaching your objective of less jet lag. Try to sleep on the plane if that is your destination’s sleep pattern or strive to stay awake if it isn’t.
Choose your plane seat carefully
Another great tip for beating jet lag? If you plan to sleep on the plane try to choose your seat beforehand to ensure you get a seat more conducive to sleeping, like a window seat to lean your head. How much sleep you get on the plane is another major indicator of how long jet lag lasts on your trip.
Get the right sleep gear
Minimize sleep distractions. Use sleep masks to cover your eyes in order to control light exposure on the plane.
Use earplugs to help drown out the noise.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Although a drink might make you sleepy, you are more likely to wake up before you’ve completed a restful sleep. Alcohol or caffeinated products will disrupt a person’s internal biological clock.
Hydrate, and then hydrate some more
Drink water several times during your flight. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This is one of the most important tips for beating jet lag! Dehydration is a major indicator of how long jet lag lasts on your trip.
TIPS FOR BEATING JET LAG AT YOUR DESTINATION
Indulge in a warm bath
Try a warm bath upon arrival at your destination. It can relax you and relieve sore muscles from traveling on long flights.
Adapt the meal patterns of your destination
Begin adapting as soon as you arrive; have lunch when everyone else is having lunch even though your body is telling you it’s midnight.
Follow your regular sleep pattern
Upon arrival at your destination, follow your usual sleep routine in the new time zone. How long does jet lag last? It’s sure to last longer if you never adjust to your new time zone.
Exercise is the answer to so many questions and issues. It will also help with jet lag. Get some exercise but not too close to your bedtime.
Embrace the sun
Get sunlight as soon as you arrive. It will help to normalize your sleep pattern.
Avoid blue light at bedtime
Exposure to tech gadgets; phone, tablet, eBook, etc. before sleep will disturb your sleep. Avoid this.
TIPS FOR BEATING JET LAG AFTER COMING HOME
Select the appropriate return flight
Pick a flight that lets you arrive later in the day and strive to stay awake until 9 or 10 p.m. local time. If you absolutely have to nap, make it short. No more than a couple of hours.
Be nice to yourself
Treat yourself well on your return. Don’t force yourself to return to work the next day unless absolutely necessary. If you must return to work immediately, don’t schedule overly challenging activities.
Choose nutrient rice meals like grains, fruits, and veggies.
How long does jet lag last? Even longer after drinking alcohol! Let your body adjust to your home sleep patterns naturally, resist the temptation to help the process with alcohol.
Sunlight and water
Just like the jet lag prevention tips at other stages, hydrating and exposure to sunlight are key and will help you adjust to your regular time frame faster.
What are some of your tips for beating jet lag? How long does jet lag last for you? Share your tips with us.