Know before you go

4 unique ways to combat the effects of jet lag

Jetlag- the part of traveling that just can’t be avoided and can leave us soo tired for days, or unable to sleep. This is definitely one of the not so avoidable parts of traveling, as we can fully enjoy ourselves when we are beyond exhausted. When traveling for really long distances, jetlag will be worse as the time difference will be greater; these situations make it much more noticeable than if the time differences were only a few hours. Although you can’t always completely avoid jet lag, I’m going to be giving you my tips on how you can greatly reduce it so that you can suffer as minimal as possible and enjoy your travels more!

Adjusting your sleep schedule gradually 

With this method, you will be adjusting the timing that you go to sleep and wake up for about two weeks prior to your travels. This way, you can be eased into the time difference and although there still may be a big difference, you won’t notice it as much as you have adjusted partially. For this one, if your destination is ahead of your current time, you will want to go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier and if it is behind you, you will want to go to sleep later and wake up later. I would recommend adjusting in 2 hour increments. If you think about it- if your destination time zone is 9 hours ahead but you have already adjusted your schedule by 4 hours, then it will only be a 5 hour difference instead of a 9 hour difference, which is essentially a whole day. 

Try not to sleep until night 

When you arrive at your destination, try your best to not sleep until night, even if it means early evening such as 6 or 7pm. It may be really difficult, but if you can fight it the first day, trust me it will regulate your sleep schedule so much faster and make you way less tired for the remainder of the trip. If you do end up sleeping early on the first day, you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night wired and ready for the day, and then exhausted mid day the following day- this is exactly the cycle we are trying to avoid. 

Take melatonin (if it helps you)

As we know, our body naturally produces melatonin throughout the day which aids in our sleep. You can purchase melatonin to take additionally, which can help you to fall asleep if you want to sleep at a certain time of the day. This can help regulate your sleep schedule, and is especially useful if you are traveling to a destination where the time is behind your current time zone; if you are struggling to sleep at night melatonin can be a great solution. 

Sleeping on the plane

If you have a night flight especially, I find sleeping on the plane can almost trick your body into thinking it is in the same time zone, as you can often wake up and be at your destination. I find that even if I only sleep for 3 hours on the plane, I am not too tired to function when I arrive but also tired enough to sleep at night, helping me to acclimate quickly to the new timezone. Of course you can also take melatonin if your flight is earlier than you would normally sleep, and it can help you sleep and stay asleep the whole flight. 

Eating healthy

Of course if you fuel your body well, it will have an easier time adapting and regulating itself to new time zones. The week before you fly it is always a good idea to try and consume more vitamins and nutritious food so that you can not only be feeling your best while traveling, but not be as sluggish and tired. 

Caffeine and alcohol

In addition to eating healthy, limiting/reducing you caffeine and alcohol consumption can alos help your body to adjust more easily to the new timezones. Moreover, if you consume large quantities of alcohol while flying, a hangover certainly won’t make the pre existing jet lag any easier! 

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