Reduce Jet Lag Symptoms Faster
At times it’s inevitable—flying through multiple time zones can cause serious jet lag. But there are things you can do before you go and once you arrive to reduce your symptoms and start enjoying your trip faster
According to the American Sleep Association, nearly 93 percent of travelers will experience jet lag at some point. If you’ve had it, you know the common symptoms: drowsiness, dizziness, disturbed sleep, digestive issues and irritability. While no cure exists, there are some steps you can take to ensure jet lag doesn’t slow you down on your next vacation.
Before Your Flight:
Be sure to get plenty of exercise and rest the week before your trip; a lack of sleep before your flight can worsen your symptoms.
Three to four days before your trip, try adjusting your sleeping habits to the destination you will be traveling to. For example, if you will be going from New York City to Madrid, begin resetting your internal clock by going to bed and getting up later than usual. Last, minimize as much stress as possible by packing ahead of time and arriving at the airport early.
During Your Flight:
If your flight is during the night hours of your destination, come prepared to rest. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a pillow, blindfold, earplugs or headphones and reading materials.
Drink plenty of water. According to the USA Today, one contributor to jet lag is the body's stress response to the very dry atmosphere of the plane which causes accelerated dehydration. So keep the water in hand and avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
After You Arrive:
Reset your watch and your body to local time. Seek natural sunlight to help your body adjust and wait to eat until the appropriate time. If you start to feel sleepy, try drinking a bit of caffeine or taking short naps until it is time for bed. Vice versa, if you are awake when you should be sleeping, try an herbal supplement or discuss a melanin-based treatment with your doctor.
A very helpful tool is the Jet Lag Rooster, a free app that helps you map out a full jet lag sleeping and sunlight schedule. Simply plug in your information and it will provide a recommendation of when you should start shifting your sleep schedule. Do you have other strategies for beating jet lag? Comment below or let us know on Facebook and Twitter.