Jet lag

Are you jetting off to Europe for an adventure? Flying to see friends down under? Or maybe it’s just a quick weekend trip across the country with your family…. Whatever you have in mind, don’t let jet lag wreak havoc on your plans. Use these suggestions to stop jet lag from interfering with your get-away.

Woman with jet lag

Jet lag occurs when a person travels through different time zones and the body doesn’t immediately adjust to the new schedule. The symptoms of this affliction can be insomnia, lack of energy, headache, digestive issues and anxiety, all of which may last up to a few days after air travel. Stop jet lag with these tips.

Plan ahead

While still at home, change your current schedule to reflect the time difference you will encounter on your trip. Start slowly; simply adjust your routine by an hour or so. After sticking to that schedule for a few days, try modifying it another hour. Gradually build your routine to accommodate the new time zone, instead of it happening all at once when the plane lands.

Watch what you drink

Avoid stimulating beverages such as those containing alcohol and caffeine before and during your flight. These types of drinks can cause sleep disruptions and dehydration, which may intensify symptoms of jet lag. Combat dehydration and its negative effects by drinking plenty of water. If possible, bring your own bottles on board to ensure you have enough water to keep your body refreshed.

Keep fit

A person that maintains good physical health and proper eating habits is less likely to feels the effects of jet lag. A fit body will recover more quickly than one that’s not, so take a proactive approach to your health. Try to keep yourself stress-free, as this will also help diminish the effects of jet lag.

Exercise

Whenever possible, get your body moving. Keep your blood pumping by walking up and down the aisle, stretching or doing isometric exercises in your seat. This will make you feel more energetic and help stave off the feelings of jet lag.

Utilize the daylight

Help your body adjust to the new time by bathing yourself in natural daylight. Light is important for resetting your internal clock. If you land during the daylight hours, make sure to get outside and let it help you adjust to the new time.

Have a nap

Try to catch a few zzz’s on the plane, as this will help offset periods of fatigue later. Keep yourself cozy and have a nap. Use a travel pillow, earplugs and sleep mask if necessary to lull yourself into a rejuvenating slumber.

Consider a melatonin supplement

Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone in the body. It’s commonly known to regulate your body’s natural clock, so it may be helpful in reducing the effects of jet lag. If you think melatonin might be right for you, be sure to discuss it with your health care provider before starting a treatment plan.

More on health

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10 Ways to fight fatigue
Natural ways to combat stress

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