Whether jetting off to stroll the cobbled streets around the Seine or fleeing to a far-flung fantasy island, jet lag sure can be a drag. Hopping from one time zone to the next can have a knock-on effect that follows you for the first few days of your trip, making you feel sluggish, sleepy, and ready to stretch out on the bed rather than explore the sights. While your circadian rhythm is no fool, there are a few tricks and tips that can help your body beat back jet lag. These are our tips on how to naturally deal with changing time zones.
Prep Your Body
That pre-flight night of partying may have seemed like a grand idea, but it is sure to follow you halfway across the Atlantic. Before you have a big flight coming up, you should aim to be well-rested, super hydrated, and stuffed full of nutrients to help your body process the travel in the best way possible. Keep the 48 window before your flight as a sacred space where you can enjoy a sense of calm, a solid eight hours a night, and some good home cooking to send you sweetly on your way.
Adjust Your Internal Clock
If you have the means to do so, then consider aiming to tweak your internal clock in the runup to your cross-continent trip. You may want to start implementing this at least four days prior to your flight to truly reap the benefits. If you can shift your eating and sleeping patterns to be more aligned with where you are going, then you have a good chance of wriggling out of the worst jet lag symptoms altogether.
Set Your Watch
If changing up your schedule is impossible, then another thing to do is to reset your watch as soon as you step foot on your flight. Not only will this stop you getting lost in trying to work out what time you land, but it means that you start tweaking your subconscious into time hopping before you touch down. Bottom line – as soon as you step foot on the plane, you should give up your concept of ‘the time back home’, reminding yourself of the difference will only add to that zombie out of sorts feeling.
Everyone loves the free wine rule on flights, it’s worth remembering that alcohol leaves a deeper imprint on the body at high altitude. A good way to look at your altitude alcohol intake is that one drink in the air is the equivalent to three on the ground. Make sure that you stay super hydrated while flying and pack some healthy snacks or even a salad or something fresh so that you don’t need to rely on the sodium-rich inflight meals.
Have a No Nap Rule
The no nap rule is old but gold when it comes to fending off the throes of jetlag. While its all too tempting to grab five hours wink before hitting the museums, your body will push for needing a longer nap and odds are you will wake up feeling terrible (not to mention later than expected). Always try and stay awake until an acceptable bedtime of wherever your final destination is.
What are your top tips for cutting down on jet lag? Share in the comments.