Jetsetter or not, traveling through time zones can have a huge impact on your body. Despite the excitement you feel traveling to distant shores, hopping on long-haul flights can cause nasty side effects…like jet lag! There’s good news, though. You may be able to reduce jet lag and we have a guide for you!
Here are some things to do before you fly, whilst you’re in the air and after you’ve landed to feel refreshed, hydrated, and ready to make the most of your trip without any jet lag.
What is jet lag?
Jet lag is a disruption that occurs when our body’s circadian rhythm (our internal 24-hour clock, which syncs everything from eating to sleeping) – is thrown off. Traveling through time zones disrupts the measures your body uses to manage its internal clock, such as daylight, your temperature, and your hormones.
While jet lag can affect people differently but the common symptoms include:
- Bowel problems.
Overcoming jet lag…
Jet lag is worse as you travel from west to east — it may last longer than when you travel westbound. There are ways you can make the transition smoother before you entire the new time zone, so you’re left with fewer symptoms:
What to do during the flight:
Your effort to soften the jet lag starts before you get on a plane. First rule of business is to never start your trip sleep-deprived! Once you’re in flight, here’s what you can do to mitigate the symptoms:
- Try sleeping on the plane. Help your body rest by bringing noise-canceling headphones, eye masks, comfortable travel pillows and blankets in your hand luggage.
- Drink plenty of water in flight.
- Avoid coffee or alcohol.
- Take a melatonin supplement.
- Maintain a good skincare routine with hydrating products.
- Stretch on the plane.
What to do when you land:
Post-flight care is crucial for jet lag. Here are things to try:
- Don’t fill up the schedule for your first day in your destination. The zombie look is not cute. Anticipate some degree of jet lag and budget enough time for sleep if you are not feeling well.
- Drink a caffeinated beverages.
- Eating a carbohydrate-rich dinner such as rice or pasta as well as foods such as turkey and nuts that contain tryptophan, a brain chemical involved in sleep.
Remember, jet lag is not permanent. Symptoms will jet off in a day or 5. When all else fails and you are deep in the throes of jet lag – just give in. The physical and emotional roller coaster will pass, promise!
Feature Image: Getty Images