Travel is fun. Jet lag is not. It will make you feel like you took a journey into outer space and then take a good few days to start feeling like a human again.
What actually causes jetlag?
Our bodies are programmed to do many things throughout the day. Eating, sleeping, working. These routines are built-in and known as 'circadian rhythms', and when we move through time zones, they are completely thrown out the window.
Fatigue, indigestion problems, memory and concentration issues are just the beginning. There's sadly no fixed answer on how to prevent it or how to recover as quickly as possible because jet lag affects everyone differently.
Unfortunately, this nasty feeling comes along with most long-haul flights but not to worry we have some tips to keep you feeling fresh so that when you do make it to the other end recovery time is cut in half!
On the plane… ✈️
TIP: Drink plenty of water!
Dehydration levels work their way up pretty rapidly when you get sky high so make sure you have some water on you for majority of the flight. A tip within a tip... stay away from alcohol. It doesn’t do good things for your body and you will feel a thousand hangovers at once when you touch down.
One of the most important things you can do to beat jet lag is stay hydrated, so opt for hydrating, water-rich foods like celery, watermelon, strawberries, and cucumbers.
TIP: Sleep when you can
There are many theories about sleeping on the plane when it is supposed to be nighttime in your destination so you can get in tune with the new time zone. After investigating and asking the pros of sky travel a.k.a. Flight Attendants the best choice is to sleep as much as you can when you can.
TIP: Location, Location
The age old decision of whether you want the window seat to lean against or the aisle to get up and stretch when you please (because let’s be honest no one ever really wants the middle seat when flying). Studies have shown that picking a window seat can actually be better for you because you have a visual of the skyline, this reduces the chance of motion sickness and a quicker recovery from jet lag!
TIP: Flex it
Walk, stretch and invest in some compression socks. Who cares if they look horrendous? Move around regularly and do little exercises to keep that blood flowing! A slowing of circulation is one of the most common effects of jet lag. If your circulation is good you will be too!
When you are on solid ground again…
TIP: Sleep at the right times
Even if that means slapping yourself in the face to keep your eyes open until the sun goes down. You have to push through and do it! This will get you back in sync in 2-3 days rather than an entire week.
Timeshifter is a sleep tool based on the latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience to eliminate your jet lag with personalised advice. You’ll have to input a few details about your sleep pattern, chronotype and flight plan. Great for when you’re first adjusting to time differences!
TIP: Get into Routine
If that means having breakfast when everyone back home is fast asleep, so be it. Even if that's Cheerios at 11pm. Start eating three meals a day in line with the new time zone (if you’re the type of person who loves a midnight snack, it shouldn't be a problem!)
Go for a morning walk to wake up and get your body functioning. Your body is smart and will fall into routine pretty quickly.
TIP: Eat well
When you're trying to ditch jet lag, it's important to stay away from fatty proteins (even just for a couple of days). They will sap your energy and make you sleepier.
Get some nutrients into you to help you feel fresh again. This means greens and fruits. Anything with natural sources of melatonin is your go-to - chicken, fish, quinoa, cherries, goji berries, bananas, the list goes on.
TIP: Do exciting things
The most obvious tip of them all, distraction. Go get out and explore, even on 20% battery life you will be so excited seeing so many new things that it will take your mind off the time zone change you have just made. Keep your mind on something way better!
The truth is jet lag is not going to be the greatest moment in your life. But just remember that if you're on a plane for that long, you must be heading somewhere that is worth the lengthy journey! Look forward to it, and hopefully, the jet lag will wear off soon enough so you can forget all about it and do it all over again down the track.
Find that destination worth getting jet lagged for by clicking that big blue button below.