How to Beat Jet Lag

beat jet lag

Flying internationally has its own set of challenges. Besides the packing, moving through customs, and then the 8+ hours in cramped cabin seating. There's nothing more aggravating than arriving at your destination grumpy, groggy and red-eyed. It throws your entire body off cycle for the first few days of your trip and, who’s got time for that?!

Jet lag, also called desynchronosis and flight fatigue, is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms as a result of air travel across time zones. It is considered a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, which is a disruption of the internal body clock. It is the same feeling that an employee may experience when switching to the night shift after having works mornings, it takes a little time to adjust.

Get a full night of sleep.         

Pre-flight preparation is one of the most important aspects of combating jet lag. Before leaving, be sure that you have all your affairs, personal and professional, in order several days before you depart to avoid that last minute run around and you don’t stay up all night worrying you forgot something. Avoid farewell parties that run late into the night, so that you are not tired or hungover the next day. Set your alarm early enough that you’ll have time to do one last check through before you go and make sure it’s volume is turned way up!

fighting jetlag_sleeping

Get a full night of sleep.            

Pre-flight preparation is one of the most important aspects of combating jet lag. Before leaving, be sure that you have all your affairs, personal and professional, in order several days before you depart to avoid that last minute run around and you don’t stay up all night worrying you forgot something. Avoid farewell parties that run late into the night, so that you are not tired or hungover the next day. Set your alarm early enough that you’ll have time to do one last check through before you go and make sure it’s volume is turned way up!

Sleep on the plane.         

Long flights are the perfect time time to nap but not everyone can easily sleep on planes. A blindfold, neck rest or blow-up pillow, and earplugs can help you get quality sleep while flying. If you’re easily cold, consider bring a small blanket in your carry on. I don’t recommend sleep aids because they can leave you feeling groggy and dopey still when you first wake up but If you decide to go for a sleep aid, make sure it's not an antihistamine as those can cause dehydration as well. If you're lucky enough to have some spare seats on the flight, lay across them, since it easier to fall asleep laying flat than sitting propped up.

Move Around.       

Stretching during the flight is key to avoiding the after flight stiffness.  Get up and exercise frequently to get your blood circulating after sitting for a long time. Walking up and down the aisle, standing for short periods, and doing twisting and stretching exercises in your seat reduces back discomfort and swelling legs and feet. Always listen to fasten seatbelts signs though because unexpected turbulence could lead to injury.

Drink Plenty of Fluids.   

The air in airplane cabins is very dry. To people who normally live in more humid conditions the change can be striking. The dryness can cause headaches, dry skin and dry nasal and throat membranes,so you will want to drink plenty of fluids while on the airplane, since the dry air in airplanes causes dehydration. Water is better than coffee, tea and fruit juices but sports drinks are okay as well. Alcoholic drinks may help you relax, but are a poor choice for combating dehydration and will quickly you give you a headache.

Ask your Doctor.       

There are also over the counter medicines that will help with preventing or curing jet lag. The simplest is melatonin, a hormone produced naturally by the body to help control your sleep and wake cycles is available just about everywhere.  Another product, No-Jet-Lag is specifically made to target jet lag side effects and has been proven effective in a scientific trial of round-the-world passengers and confirmed by long-haul flight attendants in a test conducted in cooperation with their union. No-Jet-Lag also has no side effects and is compatible with other medications.

The standard recovery time from jet lag is a day per time zone crossed but with following these tips can help reduce that time if not nix it completely.

After all,

The world is waiting...