16 Jan 7 Tips To Avoid Jet lag
Dealing with jet lag can be challenging if you don’t know how to prepare yourself. This is a list of 7 tips on how to avoid jet lag on your travels.
Nothing is worse than falling asleep when you have a night out on the first day in New York or not being able to fall asleep when you are in Paris. After travelling all directions of the world I have experienced jet lag travelling east and travelling west.In 2010 I was travelling to Asia and had only one evening in Bangkok on arrival. Travelling from Europe made me so tired so I fell asleep not being able to do anything in Bangkok. I have also experience taking a flight from Quito to Oslo and not being able to fall asleep before 4 am for days!
I know exactly how it is dealing with jet lag and therefore I have put up this list after learning how to deal with it the hard way.
1. Adjust to the new timezone
You might be tempted to stay up all night because you are so excited to travel the next day. Whether this is good or not depends on when it is night in your new destination. I have also heard people say it is good to stay up all night so you can sleep on the plane. I don’t recommend taking the risk of changing the timezone the night before, but rather some days before. It is important to have enough rest while you travel far. You don’t want to miss your flight either.
If you are travelling from Europe to the United States you might get tired in the afternoon, which is not necessary a bad thing. If you can manage to stay up until around 9 pm after arrival you should be all set. And it is not bad to be able to get tired early and wake up early, right?
It might be harder when you are travelling from the United States to Europe, which can lead to being awake until early in the morning. I struggle with this one and it takes me many days to adjust. Therefore it is better to adjust to the specific European timezone some days before.
2. Stay hydrated
This is mainly while you are already on the plane. You might avoid drinking too much to avoid the lines to the toilet. Or you might not even be served any drinks that often. It is important to stay hydrated. Staying on the plane for many hours will make you dehydrated which is a symptom of jet lag that will do more harm than good. I recommend having at least one bottle with you on the plane. Remember to get this after going through the security.
3. Avoid coffee and alcohol
I know it is tempting to take advantage of the free service you get and a small bottle of wine could also help you fall asleep right? Caffeine and alcohol will also make you a lot more dehydrated. You should rather drink plenty of water or nutrition rich juices.
4. When do I eat?
The best time to eat is when it is time to eat at your destination. One of the most annoying symptoms of jet lag is being hungry when you are not supposed to be hungry, like the middle of the night. I recommend not eating the airplane food unless it is time to eat at your destination. The airplane usually doesn’t take that into consideration. It is smart to light snacks that you can eat when you are hungry.
5. Eat light
Along with changing your sleep cycle, your digestive cycle will change. Heavy meals will make it harder for your body adapt to the new routine. I recommend to start eating light meals before you go, but most importantly after you arrive. If you eat very heavy meals such as burgers and spices this can result in digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation.
6. Sleep on the plane?
They will most likely dim the light inside the cabin not long after serving the first meal, whether it is nighttime on your destination or not. If you have already adjusted to the new timezone it shouldn’t be a problem staying up until it is time to sleep at the destination. For this, it is good to have the time of the destination so you know what you should do at certain times on the plane. To stay awake you can enjoy the movie and entertainment on the plane or you can use Netflix offline as well.
7. Sleeping pills?
Take sleeping pills into consideration. Certain sleeping pills can make you fall asleep less than 30 minutes and might last some hours. If you take the pill around 1 am and you need to change flight at 5 am you might be half asleep at that time. I recommend natural ones like Valerian, Mellissa dream or melatonin. You should start this some days before so you get used to it and see if it is something for you.
Depending what time of the day you arrive you should adjust right away. If you arrive in the morning stay awake and get some sunlight and be active until it is nighttime at the destination. If you arrive late in the evening you should try to go to sleep when it is time to sleep and also avoid caffeine before you arrive.
Have you experienced jet lag? How was it? Do you have any other tips that I missed?