3 Tips to Beat Jet Lag
If you’re crossing multiple time zones on your flight or train excursion, you may be the victim of jet lag. Jet lag is the body’s process of adjusting to the new time zone in which you find yourself. Depending on the difference, your body may want to do something completely different than what is expected of it. Fear not – this condition doesn’t have to last for days or be horribly debilitating. Here are some tips for making your transition between time zones as comfortable as possible.
1. Make sure you’re well rested when you depart.
Make yourself a false departure date of about 48 hours ahead of time. Schedule any bon voyage parties and make sure all arrangements are finalized by this date. Pack your suitcases if you can, as well. Getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep those 2 nights before you travel is vital. If you are relaxed and well-rested when you depart, you have a much better chance of rebounding from your jet lag sooner.
2. Use your flight wisely.
Depending on where you’re headed, your flight could be many hours long. It’s always a good idea to snooze on the plane if at all possible. Bring a comfortable neck pillow and sleep mask so you can get some shut eye. If rambunctious children or chatty neighbors are making sleep difficult, consider packing a pair of earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones as well.
3. Recovery continues when you reach your destination.
As much as you may want to, resist the urge to sleep as soon as you arrive if it is not the appropriate time to do so. If possible, wait until at least 8 or 9pm to go to sleep. This point is especially important because it forces your body to adjust to the local time zone. You will probably be up early the next morning; use this opportunity to take a walk in your destination city and observe it as it wakes up. Maybe take in a beautiful sunrise!
There’s no shame in considering pharmaceutical assistance in dealing with your jet lag. Many constant travelers have found relief in sleep aids such as Ambien (zolpidem) and melatonin. Keep in mind, however, that melatonin is illegal in some European countries. Looking for tips on keeping travel stress-free? Read out 3 tips on how to make travel stress-free!