Worrying about Jet Lag? Here are Tips to Quickly Recover
“Jet lag” is a term travelers throw loosely around to describe any physiological discomfort they experience after long hours of flight. Headache? Jet lag. Feeling tired? Jet lag. Queasy stomach? Jet lag.
Technically, it takes crossing at least 3 time zones for a traveler to experience jet lag. If you didn’t, then it’s not jet lag. The direction of travel is a huge factor, too. Flying from north to south doesn’t seem to cause much of a bother but traveling from west to east is a different story.
To make sure jet lag doesn’t dampen your otherwise perfect vacation, here are ways to help you quickly recover:
Prepare for It
Pay special attention to your health a few weeks before your trip. Eat right, work out, and get enough sleep. Take care of yourself and, like how the old cliche goes, strive to be as healthy as a horse.
The boost in your immunity, the extra energy, and your heightened sense of overall well-being will help you combat jet lag and adjust faster to the demands of the new time zone.
Fight Your Body
If you’re now back at home, you’re probably in deep slumber by now. But when you’re in the country you’re visiting, the midday sun is gloriously shining and lunch is being served. As you look at the wonderful dishes laid out in front of you, your body nags at you. You don’t have the appetite and you’d rather crawl into bed than eat.
That’s jet lag.
Beyond traversing time zones, jet lag is all about the disruption of your circadian rhythm — your body’s schedule for eating and sleeping. When this happens, you have to stay strong and fight it off. Force yourself to follow the regular eating and sleeping schedule of your destination right away. Enduring the “shock” to your system is good for you. It will help you adjust to the new time zone faster.
Dehydration won’t do you any good when you’re experiencing jet lag. It worsens fatigue and lethargy. Drink lots of water before and during your flight. In addition, stay away from alcohol and caffeine as those tend to dehydrate your body. Once you’re jet lag is gone then of course you’ll want to enjoy the local beverages.
Don’t shy away from the Sun
Having a hard time sleeping is one of the infamous effects of jet lag. To help your biological clock “normalize”, expose yourself to sunlight. It tells your body when to stay alert and when to wind down for the day. Just don’t forget your sunblock!
Lull Yourself to Sleep
Exposing yourself to sunlight is not enough to secure a good night’s sleep. It helps but there’s more work to be done.
To give yourself a restful slumber, consider taking a warm bath after a long day of traveling or sightseeing. It will relax your body and give it signals to settle down. Make sure your room isn’t too cold or too warm. If possible, take your bedtime routine with you. If you’re used to drinking hot peppermint tea before going to bed, do it. Familiarity will ease you into sleep. Lastly, no screen time. No scrolling or tapping while you lay in bed. Put away your smartphone and give yourself the peace and quiet you deserve.
Don’t let the fear of jet lag take away from your International tour. It’s no match for the amazing experiences of different cultures and places that await you. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be fine.