Does the potential of jet lag have you concerned about taking a long flight? Do you have no choice but to take to the sky and hope for the best?
While no one wants to deal with a serious case of jet lag (also known as desynchronosis), there could come a point when you find yourself staring this nasty physiological condition square in the face.
Maybe you find yourself facing a long overnight flight to New York City. While you were excited when you booked your flight via Expedia, you now realize one thing to be true: jet lag could be waiting for you once your plane touches down in New York City and it’s time to get on with your life.
Some of the most common symptoms of jet lag include:
- Loss of appetite
In other words, there is nothing fun about this. Although you can typically “snap out of it” within a couple days at the most, it can be brutal while your body recovers.
Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to cure jet lag. While some strategies will work better than others, you’re probably willing to try anything and everything.
Here are five ways to deal with this:
- Stay Active
You may be tempted to head for your bed and stay put until your jet lag subsides. This is a mistake, as it could delay your recovery.
The best thing you can do is exercise in the early morning or afternoon hours. You may not feel up to it, but it’s a great way to reset your body clock. Even a 30-minute workout can do wonders for your body.
- Take a Nap
Rather than hitting the sack for four hours in the middle of the day, set your alarm to ensure that you’re only sleeping for 20 to 30 minutes.
If you sleep too many hours during the day, you’ll never fall asleep at night. Subsequently, your bout of jet lag will drag on.
- Stay Hydrated
This is something to think about before your plane ever takes off. If you know you’re taking a long flight, start drinking as much water as possible.
Simply put, dehydration worsens the symptoms of jet lag. So, while you may be tempted to drink coffee and/or alcohol, you should think twice. This will increase the likelihood of dehydration, which makes it more difficult to overcome jet lag.
- Spend Time Outdoors
Once you’re established in a new time zone, it’s good practice to spend some time outdoors.
This doesn’t mean you have to spend your entire day outside, but a few hours can go a long way in helping your body adjust to the new time zone.
- Eliminate Stress
Did you know that stress can make jet lag worse? If you put too much stress on yourself when traveling, it can take a toll on both your mind and body.
By eliminating stress, you’ll have a clear mind and a better chance of fighting off jet lag.
There are many ways to reduce stress when traveling, such as by checking in for your flight online and traveling light (forget checking your bag).
The Best Advice? Don’t Wait Until it’s Too Late
Regardless of your destination or why you are traveling, here’s something you need to remember: it’s important to prepare as far in advance as possible. This means following a variety of packing tips, while also doing whatever you can to reduce the impact of jet lag.
There is only so much you can do to prevent jet lag, but you should at least try your best. Avoid sleep deprivation and get any big projects (like that explainer video you’ve been slacking on) before your trip. When you get on the right page before your flight leaves, you’ll have a clear idea of the strategy to follow while you’re in the air and after you land.
In a perfect world, you’d never find yourself dealing with jet lag. Instead, you’d be able to travel around the world (and back) without ever feeling any ill effects.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the way the mind, body and its natural circadian rhythm works.
What are your thoughts on these five ways of dealing with a serious case of jet lag? Do you have any experience with this? Share your thoughts and personal tips in the comment section below.