Running to make that connection, trying vainly to catch a wink in those cramped airline seats, hoping your luggage won’t get lost… Traveling can be pretty intense. And jet lag just makes everything more complicated! So to help you make the most of the first few days of your trip, read these awesome tips on how to beat jet lag like a pro!
Mind your diet!
Adapt your meal habits prior to departure
If you can, adjust your meal times to match those at your destination before you leave. This helps your metabolism prepare for the changes it’s about to go through. A carb-heavy dinner the night before departure is another good way to reduce the impact of jet lag.
Watch what you eat and drink during your flight
Avoid alcohol and coffee while flying. Both tend to leave you dehydrated! And since airlines generally schedule food service based on departure time zones, you’re best to avoid in-flight meals as well. No worries, we all know that airline food isn’t exactly epicurean fare—unless you’re flying business or first class. In that case, feel free to enjoy a glass of champagne and toast our health!
Adopt a smart food regimen on arrival
Our diet and our biological clocks are closely related to each other. That’s why it’s so important to always have meals at your destination time. During your first few days abroad, opt for a protein-rich diet, too. It’s a good way to supply your brain with the nutrients it needs to keep you alert!
Make sleep your priority
Adapt your sleeping habits to your destination time zone
Your first objective is preparing your biological clock to cope with time zone trauma. A few days before your departure, gradually start adjusting your bedtime to your destination. It’s an excellent way to reduce the impact of jet lag on your body.
Take a nap during your flight
Once you’re comfortably seated aboard the aircraft, remember to set your watch to your destination time to prime your biological clock for the change. When your watch says it’s bedtime at your destination, turn your personal ventilation system up to maximum to signal your nervous system that it’s time for some rest.
Maintain quality sleep during your travels
As frequent flyers will readily tell you, power napping is a great way to recharge your batteries! To be effective, power naps should last between 10 and 20 minutes. These short breaks are an incredibly effective way to overcome the effects of jet lag. And when “real” bedtime rolls around, lower your bedroom temperature, draw the curtains, and make your bedroom a sleep-friendly haven.
No matter how far you roam, stay fit!
Get some exercise before you leave
Once your luggage is packed and everything is ready to go, get some exercise! No need to run a marathon, but physical activity will help you fall asleep more easily. It’s also a good idea to avoid drinking or eating too much! And if you do overindulge, read these helpful tips on getting rid of a hangover.
Be kind to your body during the flight
Unless you’re travelling business or first class, long-haul flights can feel like cruel and unusual punishment. To avoid leg and back pain, get up regularly to stretch your legs in the aisles of the aircraft, and find a quiet place to do a few stretches. Wearing compression socks or stockings is another great way to reduce the impact of jet lag on your body.
Keep your biological clock under control
Traveling west? Fine, try to get 30 minutes of exercise in during the evening. This will increase your body temperature and reduce sleepiness. For those traveling East, opt for morning exercise to prep your body and mind!
Finally, don’t forget to drink lots of water during your travels! Staying hydrated considerably reduces sleepiness. Despite these tips, some of you may still have a tough time getting over jet lag. If so, ask your doctor about melatonin.
And now, let’s start planning that trip!