If you travel frequently by plane then you know that jet lag is one of the worst things about traveling. But why do we get jet lag? Jet lag is not just an imaginary feel, it’s a serious modern problem that affects our bodies when we’re moving through time zones. Studies have found that it takes a full day to recover from each time zone you travel through. Therefore, a jet lag has got its official medical term – desynchronizes. And the name explains itself – your circadian rhythm – your body clock – is out of sync. Simply your body thinks it’s still in one time zone, but it’s physically somewhere else. This can lead to some serious issues such as extreme fatigue along with indigestion, bowel problems, loss of appetite, and memory and concentration issues.
All these things because of the jet lag? Unfortunately, yes. Jet lag affects different people in different ways, but its effects can vary depending on our age, state of health, and stress levels. So, how can we adjust to the new time zone easier and help our body to get over jet lag? If you’re thinking about sleeping pills, like most people do, you are on the wrong track. This is why we’ve prepared some REALLY useful tips to help you overcome jet lag on your next trip and enjoy your vacation fresh and smiling!
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1. Choose the seats wisely
First-class is awesome, but not everyone can afford it. If your budget is limited so you have to travel within the economy class, don’t worry. There are seats you can take to suffer less and get over jet lag easier. You can take legroom, so if you keep the area beneath your feet clear, you may be able to stretch to a plank position to mimic your sleeping position at home! Or, you can take a window seat so you can put a pillow by the window, and you won’t be disturbed by other passengers. Avoid seats in heavy traffic areas such as galleys and lavatories where motion and noise can keep you awake. One more thing: take seats with reclines, and avoid seats in exit rows or in the last row of a cabin which don’t have them.
2. Get a good night’s sleep before you fly
No matter where you’re heading to, if you travel sleepy and tired, you’ll feel awful when you arrive. For some reason, people tend to sleep only few hours before a long flight, probably because they think they’ll sleep through the flight. But that’s wrong. If you get a good night’s sleep before your flight you will easier get over jet lag.
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3. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages before and during the flight
A glass of champagne or a pre-flight gin and tonic sounds really pleasant, but the effects of alcohol will increase tiredness and cause dehydration to your body. On short flights, this may look refreshing, but on a long flight, this can make getting over jet lag much harder for you.
4. Say goodbye to coffee for a day
Although a cup of coffee can improve your mood and make your trip more pleasant, if you want to get over jet leg easier, you should avoid drinking it before flight. A caffeine-heavy beverage such as coffee and cola will affect your ability to sleep and increase jet lag recovery time. Instead of coffee, try to drink water and stay hydrated.
5. Be careful with what you eat
Sometimes we don’t have a choice but to eat airplane food. Although it may be delicious, it’s high in quick carbohydrates, overly processed oils and mysterious additives that will make you feel heavy. Jet lag experts recommend to avoid airplane food if you want to get over jet lag faster.
6. Stay hydrated
Probably the main reason why we experience jet lag much worse is dehydration. The dehydration is simply loss of body water and electrolytes that often happen during the flight. Besides airplane cabins are commonly pressurized to 6900ft above sea level, so once we’re up in the sky, we’re already in deficit. Make sure to carry bottle or cup of water with you and drink a lot of water during your trip.
7. Beat jet lag with technology
Beating jet lag with gadgets? It’s possible! Dodow is an amazing gadget for sleeping that allows its users to fall sleep 2.5 times faster than usual! And if you don’t believe it, you can try it with a 100-day money-back guarantee. This digital sleeping lamp was invented to help people fight insomnia and it uses a hypnotizing blue light to coordinate and slow down their breaths to stimulate their body’s natural resting state. And in the long run, Dodow helps you regain confidence in your ability to go back to sleep quickly. So, once you arrive to a new destination, use Dodow and get over jet lag.
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8. Avoid arriving at night
If you can choose the time, avoid arriving at night. Try to find an option for a flight which arrives in daylight. Not just for practical reasons but this will make it easier to stay awake, refresh and follow the natural rhythm of your body. Even if you’re in a new time zone now, things are simple, we sleep at night, and we get up when the sun’s out.
9. Sleeping pills can be risky habit
Most people rely on sleeping pills to overcome jet lag, but that’s a bad idea. Sleeping pills can make you feel much tired, and sleep much longer than you should. Imagine arriving to your destination and being unable to wake up. Sleeping during flight is a great way to get over jet lag easier, but only if you do it the natural way. And what can lower your stress level and relax you better than a cup of tea? As free hot water is one of the free in-flight things, you can bring your herbal tea bags and enjoy.
10. But melatonin may be the right choice
Since sleeping pills can be risky, a little bit of melatonin before a long flight can help you overcome jet lag faster. Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally in our brains. But it’s only released in darkness, so it basically tells our body that it’s time to get some sleep. It’s important to know that melatonin works better in low doses and it needs to be taken at the proper time to be effective. So, about 30 minutes before you want to sleep, take a small amount. For example, take 0.5 mg of melatonin 13 hours before the time you want to wake up. Just make sure to avoid bright light and minimize exposure to glaring screens. With a sleeping mask, this won’t be hard.