Having just traveled internationally, I was reminded of how it feels to fall victim to a mega dose of jet lag. I had full intentions of quickly adapting to my new timezone, but unfortunately, I made a fatal error in my plan to adapt. I drank not one, but TWO cappuccinos late in the day. Bad decision when trying to overcome 6 hours of a time difference!
In the past, however, I have prided myself in adapting quickly…one day or so for a European destination. Not too shabby. This recent experience, however, has inspired me to share what HAS worked for a quick turnaround:
- Exercise: Staying in good shape, before and after your flight will be helpful. Continue to exercise at your destination and eat right.
- Stay Hydrated: When flying, you can easily become dehydrated due to the dry air on the plane. This can cause you to feel very tired. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your flight.
- Do as the Romans Do: Once you reach your destination, adopt the schedule of the time zone you are in. Eat when the locals eat. Drink when the locals drink and sleep when the locals sleep.
- Sleep Schedules: Do everything in your power to get a full night sleep at your new destination. If you need to, use a sleep aid (such as Simply Sleep) to help you fall off to sleep. Avoid using them, however, in flight.
- Shower: If you arrive in the morning, take a cool shower once you have landed. This will help you to feel refreshed and stimulate circulation, getting you ready for the rest of the day ahead. If you arrive in the evening, however, take a hot shower before bedtime to help relax and calm your body and mind so that you are prepared for bedtime.
- Caffeine: Avoid caffeine after the equivalent of 1pm in your new destination. Caffeine can impact your sleep, making it difficult for you to get adjusted to the new time zone (as it did for me this last time!)
- Alcohol: Avoid alcohol the evening before your trip. On the flight, however, you might consider a glass of wine to relax you and help you fall off to dreamland. Don’t overdo it though…alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns and dehydrate you.
- Eat Often: Especially on the first or second day of your trip, consider eating light snacks every couple of hours. This will help you to keep your metabolism cranked throughout the day, but will also avoid potential food comas from over eating and restlessness from too full of a tummy while trying to sleep.
Have you had a successful regimen for avoiding jet lag? What works for you?