Full disclaimer… I am in no way a closet jet lag science genius. But as someone who loves travel, it was inevitable that one day I would experience the dreaded jet lag. So, the question is “How to avoid jet lag?”. Perhaps there is no full proof way to completely avoid jetlag, but there are definitely some ways to soften the blow!
What Is Jet Lag?
According to WebMD.com…
Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder caused by travelling across different time zones which throws off our circadian rhythm, otherwise known as our body clock.
I experienced jet lag last year after we came home from our Europe trip. I just couldn’t re-adjust, I was tired during the day, and couldn’t sleep at night. It’s safe to say that if there is a way I can lessen these effects for future trips, I will do it. So from personal experience and a little bit of research, here are some of the ways you can avoid jet lag…
How To Avoid Jet Lag
1. Start Adjusting Your Sleep Before You Go Away
If you adjust your sleep by a couple of hours according to the time zone at your destination, it will be that little bit easier and quicker to adjust once there.
2. Adjust Your Clocks When You Get On The Plane
Once you’re on the plane, adjust your clocks to your destination time. This way you can sleep and eat accordingly to the time there.
3. Sleep On The Plane According To The Destination Time
The sooner you can adjust the better! Easier said than done if you have trouble sleeping on a plane. At the very least try to rest, or try earplugs and an eyemask.
4. Drink Plenty Of Water To Stay Hydrated
Drinking water and staying hydrated has been shown to help lessen the effects of jet lag. Yep, that means avoiding the caffeine and alcohol too!
5. Adjust Your Caffeine Accordingly
So if you must drink caffeine, try not to drink it for at least a few hours before you go to bed.
6. Wear Comfortable Clothing On The Flight
Ok, so this one I just added because to me it makes sense! How can you sleep on the plane or get up and walk around if you’re not comfortable? And surely a happier flying experience equals less chance of jet lag… right?
7. Break Up Your Trip And Take An Actual Stop Over On Long Flights
So this may not always be possible, and sometimes it’s good to just get the long flight out of the way, but if you struggle on long haul flights, perhaps stop halfway and stay for a few days. Just make sure both your flights arrival times to their destinations are during the day or evening rather than the middle of the night.
8. Don’t Book Overnight Flights Or Flights That Arrive When You Should Be Sleeping
A lot of us can’t sleep on planes or at least can’t get a good sleep on planes, so booking overnight flights can just add to your troubles. But the main thing you need to look out for is arrival times. Arriving at 2 am, getting to your hotel room by 4 am and knowing that sleeping now could mean you will be sleeping for the next 10 hours, means you will never adjust. Even if you arrive at 8 am (as we did after almost a day of flying), you find the energy to push through the day because you can go straight out, stay active and get in the sun.
9. Don’t Sleep When You Get There (unless it’s nighttime)
As mentioned above, the best thing to do is push through the day, no matter how badly you want to sleep. The first day might be tough, but it will set you up for a better holiday.
10. Exercise In The Mornings
Exercise in the mornings can help energize you for the day and help you sleep better at night. You don’t have to hit the gym on holiday, just go outside and explore the neighbourhood you’re staying in.