One thing about traveling is that I love it. But then again it means I have to fly. And flying often means a super annoying jet lag. With all those jet lag tips that make it even worse. Feeling sleepy at 3: PM? Having lunch at 01: AM? Being dragged by your (also jet-lagged) friends around monuments?
Yeah, I’m pretty familiar with all that. I’ve literally done all that…and I looked so horrifying I had to wear sunglasses and caps for a whole week.
I’ve experienced epic fails at staying sane after the plane lands, until I discovered these amazing tips, that taught me how to avoid jet lags at once!
Sure we all love going to amazing new places. Some of us have even dreamed of visiting those destinations! But the time zones just won’t let us live our lives.
Make sure you follow these jet lag tips and enjoy your trip & everything it has to offer!
First of all, you need to understand what it is exactly, before looking for jet lag recovery tips!
The biggest traveling problem, also known as jet lag, is when your biological clock is not in sync with the actual time of the day in the place you’re in. It’s just like when a person works in a night shift, and they have to adapt their body to the new waking/sleeping hours. The clocks are saying it’s daytime, and your body is like WHY THESE CLOCKS BE LYING???
Now I’ll tell what piece of information you really needed to hear all your life. You’ll feel like your whole life was a lie. And you’ll ask why on earth don’t they teach us this at school! (Or do we just not pay enough attention in class hehe) Anyways.
What I wanted to say, is that you actually need to do different things in order to avoid jet lag, depending on where you’re going. In other words, the jet lag tips for traveling towards the east are the complete opposite of jet lag treatment when going to the west.
If you actually think about it, it makes perfect sense! Because the time zone is what determines if you’ll land needing more sleep or less. So to explain this further, Let’s take examples.
If you fly from west to east you’ll have just fewer hours before bedtime comes. Which means that it will be easier for you to avoid jet lag sleeping. Conversely, if you go from east to west, it’ll be like you traveled backward in time!
Tip 1: Prepare days before
A trick you can use to avoid jet lag is set a fake departure day. Yes, I indeed said a fake departure date. Start adjusting to your destination’s timing. Now let me talk about jet lag tips & how you should prepare according to where you’re going!
So the best way to explain it is the following:
When you’re flying east, you’ll have to sleep earlier than usual to avoid jet lag. But if you’re going west, do the opposite! stay awake a little bit more.
You might even want to go a step further to make the jet lag recovery easier. Hear me out on this one. When you’re booking your flight, pay close attention to the landing time. Try to take the flights that arrive late in the afternoon for example. That way you’ll have just a few hours before you can (reasonably) go to bed.
Tip 2: Set the watch to new time zone ASAP
If you arrive at your destination, with your phone clock set on the place you departed from then don’t expect anything less than confusion! Your body is still used to the old system as long as you’re keeping the old timing. So what I like to do is to switch to the new time zone as soon as I hop on the plane.
Once I’m in, that means I have to transition to the local time at my destination. I’ll give you an example. So if it’s currently daytime in my destination, I fight the urge to sleep on the plane ( I know how difficult that can be, but it’s absolutely worth it). But if it’s already nighttime then it’s actually better if I can sleep on the way there.
You can also use apps like F.lux to help you cope with the timezone shift!
The key is to prepare your mind and body to function according to the new rhythm!
Tip 3: Try a small amount of Melatonin for jet lag recovery
I’m sure you’ve already heard about Melatonin. Or maybe even used it before? So Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body in order to maintain a healthy biological clock (also called the wake-sleep cycle).
Now the best jet lag tips suggest that you need to first understand your biological clock. But what exactly is the biological clock, you may ask. Well, it is simply the process of sleeping and waking up. Usually averaging at 8 hours of sleep at night, leaving 16 hours for wakefulness and activity during the day.
The Melatonin release works according to the natural light or local time. So it’s production increases when there’s less light, and drops when the sun comes up.
This supplement is available without prescription in pharmacies. However, you should pay attention to the dosage when looking for a jet lag treatment. According to Scott Alexander, the correct dose is usually ten to thirty times less than the on the over-the-counter Melatonin pills!
Tip 4: Drink lots and lots of water
You know how the air Inside the airplane can be dry. You’ll notice that when your skin becomes stretchy, and your throat is slightly dried up.
Now we all know how tempting it is to have a glass of wine for better sleep. Or a few sips of coffee to try to stay awake. We even think that these things are the best jet lag tips to use. But guess what? these drinks are not really your friends when it comes to jet lag recovery.
Both caffeine and alcohol have dehydrating effects, which honestly makes jet lag treatment even harder than it is.
Before asking how to recover from jet lag, you should ask how to avoid jet lag. And the answer is not that complicated. You just have to keep drinking water every now and then!
Tip 5: How to recover from jet lag using your eating habits
Has it ever occurred to you that your eating habits are related to literally everything else in your life? Well, this may be more helpful than any jet lag tips I suggested!
When your meal is packed with carbs, your body will more likely feel heavy and tired. As an example, Potatoes, bread, and pasta are all carbohydrate-rich foods that will help you fall asleep easier. Which means that if you’re heading to the east, that’s the best choice on how to avoid jet lag!
On the other hand, if your destination is on the western side, it’ll be better to eat lighter meals to stay awake. Protein-filled foods like meat, eggs, and fish are perfect for this job!
Use these jet lag tips to fight off those horrible days of zombying! These tricks will help you improve your sleep Schedule when you are literally on a whole different time zone.
Start by conditioning yourself for the new system. And in no time you’ll be drastically reducing the need for jet lag treatment.
Most importantly you’ll start enjoying every experience your trip has to offer you, including those stunning Instagram travel pics!
If you have more tricks on how to avoid jet lag, or a hilariously terrible jet lag story, feel free to share it with us in the comments!
Featured image source: Instagram@failunfailunmefailun
Gifs from: Giphy