It’s all fun and games when you stroll onto the white-sand beaches of Sydney or sit down for dinner at the latest hot spot in New York City, but that’s until the clock strikes 8 p.m. and you’re ready for bed. Jet lag can really ruin the first few days of your vacation, which doesn’t seem fair seeing as you’ve spent so much time and effort to get there.
With a swig or two of water, a timely watch, and a little TLC, jet lag can be seriously improved before the worst has had a chance to begin. Here are Goodness’ five top tips on how to beat (and better) jet lag this summer.
Day flights might take away precious holiday time, but you’ll be thankful when you wake up the following morning, already having had a good night’s sleep. Try to make it so that your flight lands at your destination in the evening, so that you have the comfort of an already-made bed waiting for you. Plus, you’ll have the luxury of starting your holiday right with a breakfast-in-bed morning.
Get Into a Routine
After booking your flight, there’s more you can do before you actually leave the ground. It may seem a little OTT, but we’re all for making the most out of those precious breaks. If the time difference is substantial, start shifting your patterns a little earlier or later than usual to help with the transition. Most likely, you’ll end up being more proactive in the period before leaving, which means you can get more beauty sleep and have more energy to run last-minute errands before you jet off!
Staying hydrated helps tremendously with jet lag, especially as that feeling of having no energy from dehydration is often emphasized when traveling and flying. We are out of our usual routines and, therefore, hydrating can become a bit of a chore rather than a habit. Water will keep you feeling energetic, whilst also helping to cleanse your body and hydrate your skin.
We’re not suggesting you dance your way down the aisles of the plane (although it is a viable option!), but try your best not to stay seated for long periods of time. That’s why choosing an aisle seat on a day flight is particularly helpful – you won’t have to keep interrupting the person sitting next to you. If you carry out some simple stretches intermittently during the flight, your body won’t feel as if it has already had its night’s sleep when you land. With any luck, this will help you to sleep throughout the night once you arrive.
Nourish Your Body
Holidays are for relaxing, and that often comes with a few rounds of ice cream and a pizza or two. However, if you want to avoid the full effects of jet lag, try to keep your first few days full of nutritious foods that will give your body plenty of energy. Junk food sends the body into a “lazy state” and that, combined with a big time difference, is not a pretty combination.
Rely on Melatonin
Melatonin, the hormone in your body which regulates the cycle of sleeping and waking, can help “reset” your sleep and wake cycle. Studies show that this over-the-counter pill can help tremendously with the effects of jet lag. Simply take one pill nightly for a few nights before you travel, and a few nights after you arrive at your destination, and you’ll be amazed at how much faster your body will adjust to your new timings.
Carly Rothman is the blogger behind LeanLivingGirl, a health and fitness website based in Dubai.