Conscious Travelling for Less Jet Lag
I recently read an article over on Lee From America that inspired me to write something on a travellers worst nightmare – jet lag! I’ve experienced multiple times before, when hopping across different time zones, it’s to be expected. However, what are some things you can do to help make it more tolerable? So when you arrive in a new and exciting destination you aren’t stuck in bed? Lets talk about it…
First off, what is jet lag exactly?
Jet lag is a physiological condition that is caused by a disturbance in the body’s circadian rhythm, which essentially is your internal clock that tells you when to be awake and when to be asleep. Usually jet lag occurs in people who have traveled across one or more time zones but can also affect people who do shift work or have an abnormal sleep pattern.
Everything that’s living on the planet (us, plants, animals) has a circadian rhythm they operate on which is a 24 hour cycle based off the sunlight and darkness we experience in the day. When this cycle gets thrown off course, you can experience different symptoms of jet lag, primarily feeling extra sleepy, and an estimated 93% of travellers will experience jet lag at some point!
So what helps you get out of that sleepy daze when you arrive in a new destination and helps ease the symptoms of jet lag? Here are some of the things I do to help with my symptoms and get me back up on my feet ASAP when traveling.
Drink all the water
I drink sooo much water when I travel. I bring an empty 2L bottle on the plane and ask the flight attendants to fill it up once it’s empty. Remember though you can’t bring liquids through security, however, lots of airports now have water bottle refill stations of fountains! I think on my last flight I drank about 4L of water!
Your body dehydrates a lot quicker on a plane because the air is so damn dry. Gah I hate the air on planes! It literally leaves me feel so gross. That’s why staying hydrated helps, and make sure to opt out of caffeinated beverages or alcohol, that’s not going to help!
(save the drinking for once you land!)
Bring Gravol and ginger sweets on the plane with you to help get a better sleep and help ease any tummy pains, nausea and dizziness after landing.
Noise cancelling headphones are your BFF
Bring noise cancelling head phones, eye covers and a neck pillow! If you get cold make sure you’re wearing a sweater and never wear jeans… wear your most lose fitting, comfy pants or leggings or sweat pants! your body and organs swell up a lot while flying, so make sure you keep that body of yours comfortable.
Wearing tight socks or compression socks can help keep that circulation and blood flowing. The blood in your veins has to work against gravity and flow back to the heart, circulation problems and lack of movement can result in blood pooling in your legs and feet, leading to swelling, achiness and leg fatigue. First off, make sure you’re getting up to walk up and down the aisles of the flight and stretch, however, if you want more info on if you should consider compression socks too, this is a great resource.
Don’t eat, or eat healthy
Your body doesn’t digest as well when you’re traveling at that speed, which is why you can feel so bloated when traveling. When you eat crappy food or eat a lot while flying, you when you land your body can feel like total blah. If you’re on a shorter flight and can fast or eat nothing, this is ideal because when you land your body can restart and the digestive system won’t have to work in overtime. However, if you do need to eat, consider picking up some healthier options in the airport that are non-bloating. Avoid carbs, sugars and processes foods, and instead opt for things like fruits and vegetables or salad. Traveling with probiotics and digestive enzymes is a must! Make sure to take them with your meals, and eat the minute you land. I have been doing this on flights and I swear it helps!
Avoid sleeping pills
When you’re on a long flight, especially a red eye one, it’s tempting to reach for sleeping pills but DON’T DO IT! If you’re going to take anything, stick with something less intense like Gravol or Melatonin. Seeping pills to help you sleep while flying can increase your risk of blood clots in your legs and can in worst case scenarios can lead to DEATH! WHAT?! Crazy right! The risk of getting Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) while flying is 1 in 5000 and taking sleeping pills can increase that! Plus, it’s not going to help you get into a regular routine any better with the time change, you need to get yourself falling asleep naturally at the appropriate times.
Change your clocks
As soon as you get on board, change all your clocks and watches to the local time! This will help your body adjust to what time it really is for your new destination. It’ll also help you know when the appropriate time is to try and sleep and be awake, helping you get into a regular routine before you even land.
Once you land…
You’ve finally arrived! Yippeeeee! Now time to ground yourself. Take off your socks, do some stretching, take a shower and eat. Get yourself feeling fresh and energized. Go outside, get fresh air, and push yourself to get into a regular routine as soon as you land. This means that if you land during day time hours, DO NOT go to sleep even if you’re exhausted. Stay awake until a regular bedtime hour. Otherwise you’ll just prolong your jet lag by not letting your body adjust to the new time.
What are some things that help you beat jet lag? Share below in the comments, I’d love to learn your tips!
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