Jet Lag happens to everyone, even the best of us. No matter if you are a Frequent Flyer, a Road Warrior or a once a year adventurer. Jet lag is not fun and the bane of every traveller. Especially if you are Australian- it takes ages to fly to anywhere. Even flying to somewhere close by like Wellington New Zealand takes between 3 to 9 hours (depending on which part of Australia you are). So you can say that we are a bunch of long haul specialist!
That said, there are certainly plenty of things you can do to manage jet lag. Some suggest 2 days preparation before and another 2 days effort after just to get over jet lag. Seriously, who has the time!. Majority of the time for me, even a few hours before I fly, I am still busy trying to get my shit together. Let alone adjust my body clock to the destination 3 days prior. Plus.. it’s not practical. 12 pm midday here in Perth, in the middle of working hours is actually 9 pm in San Francisco.. I can’t just drop everything at work just so I can go to bed! sheesh.
Anyway, here are some of the things you can do (without having to do a marathon-like preparation) to beat, lessen the effects of jet lag so you can enjoy your time away, fuss free.
- Spending long hours on the plane could cause dehydration which contributes to tiredness. Drink regularly. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight
- Avoid consuming caffeine or anything diuretics on the day of your flight as it will contribute towards dehydrating you
- Avoid consuming heavy meals during the flight as your body needs to be in a rest mode as oppose to working hard to digest food.
- For some people this might be a highlight to flying, but consumption of alcohol could worsen your symptoms of jet lag. If you must consume alcohol, ensure you drink plenty of water to ensure continuous hydration.
- If you are eating right before and mid flight, avoid high carb and salty food. They will only make you feel bloated and lazy. Light protein based meals will help keep you active
- Set your watch to the local time of your destination as soon as you board the plane, try and set your body clock up by sleeping according to your destination’s local time.
- If possible, choose the redeye flight. You are more likely to sleep on the plane on a redeye flight. Depending on your final destination, you should arrive mid morning or afternoon. If you do, avoid sleeping as soon as you arrive and sleep at night time as you normally would.
- Avoid the temptation to sleep early which will disrupt your sleep schedule. You might be very tired after a long haul and your body is screaming for a shut eye during what would normally be your bed time at your origin’s destination. Keep your mind and body occupied on other things.
- Get as much rest and sleep as possible before flying and during flying.
- If you are easily distracted during flight time, ensure to wear a sleep mask and ear plugs to minimise the noise.
- Get comfortable. It is hard to get comfortable in the plane especially when you are flying economy. However, work towards this as the more comfortable you are, the better quality sleep you will get. Bring in a small pillow, or your favourite jumper, push the seat back or have some soothing chamomile tea, whatever you need to get comfortable and sleeping better.
- Exercises will not only minimises the risks of deep vein thrombosis. It also assist in regulating circulation, which appears to be a common effects of jet lag. Do a bit of stretching or go for a walk to get your blood circulation moving and your body back to normal
- Move and walk around the plane regularly. It is recommended that you move out of your seat and take a walk at least once every hour of your flight to reduce fatigue. If this is not possible, spend some time stretching on your seat regularly
- Exposure to the sun will give your body a bit of energy, excitement and reset your body clock. Go out for a walk outdoors to feel better
- As soon as you arrive, have a warm, moisturising bath or shower to wake yourself up and to relieve the exhaustion and hydrate your skin.
Tips : Would like a comprehensive jet lag plan for your flight ? check out the Jet Lag Rooster for a free jet lag plan for your travel
Do you have any other travel hacks on beating jet lag ? share with us!