You know that feeling where you just have gotten off a plane and you are full of energy and excitement, don’t you? You want to travel and roam and see all that the place has to offer but bang – you are smacked right across the face with fatigue and your body feels like it is hung over. All you wanna do is curl up and sleep but it is actually lunchtime at the new place you are at. Say hello to our dear friend – jet lag.
Travelling in a different country where your time zone shifts more than two hours, jet lag is almost always a given and it almost always is successful in confusing your body’s internal clock, ruining your trip.
So, here are 7 tips on how to overcome jet lag:
1. Prepare at home
Prepare at home, a week before departing for your destination, i.e., adapt your body’s rhythm according to where you are travelling. If you are travelling east, sleep a couple hours earlier and if you are travelling west, stay up for an hour or two extra. This will help prepare your body for the trip.
2. Have a good night’s sleep
People often forgo their sleep before a long flight- either because they are too excited or believe they can sleep on the plane. Don’t do that! Making last minute changes to your time schedule makes it harder to adjust to a new time zone and having a good night’s sleep before the flight will help you cope better with jet lag.
3. Drink plenty of water but try and avoid the bar.
Even though it is really tempting to have a drink to just kick off your holiday, but try and avoid that. Alcohol in your body just leads to more tiredness and dehydration, making jet lag all the more difficult to cope with. In fact, drink as much water as possible to keep yourself hydrated and fresh.
4. Set your watch
Once you are on a plane, set your watch according to the time of your destination and if it’s daylight there, then do not sleep under any circumstances, and of course, vice-versa. It will help you beat jet lag easily. But, don’t be extra clever and do this beforehand or else you will have the most ridiculous excuse to have missed your flight.
5. Have a stopover along the route
If you have the time and your budget allows so, have a stopover along the route and stay there overnight. This helps adjusts your body a little better to the new time zone.
Stay at the stopover, eat at some cosy place, explore a bit and then get on the flight with renewed energy for your ultimate destination.
6. Don’t go for sleeping pills
If you are having trouble falling asleep on the plane, don’t take sleeping pills! They work for a short term and just end up confusing your body more. Try an alternative: darken your seating area, use an eye-mask, plug in your earphones, and just unwind.
7. Take it easy
For the first few days, take it easy, unwind, and adjust yourself to your environment and to your time-zone. Don’t plan a lot for the beginning and just relax.
Now, these tips will definitely help you but that doesn’t mean your symptoms will disappear completely. The best you can do is force yourself to stay awake and not try and cosy up in the bed!