The Best Cure for Jet Lag
Traveling around the world happened all year long, but this time of year it is especially prevalent. We have to go here and there to see parents, step parents, parents in-law, splitting holidays up, getting in as many visits with as many people staying just long enough to snap a selfie to post on Instagram and off we go to the next location. The running around is exhausting and if you have to change time zones it can put a strain on you mentally and physically- as if the in-laws didn’t do that already.
I used to have to travel from country to country for work and was gone about 75% of my time. I remember the worst jet lag trip was going from Bogota to Paris, staying 18 hours, then to Japan for two days, then to India for 4 days, over to Colorado for a week, and back to Bogota. I developed bronchitis, which turned to pneumonia. I knew I had to figure something out to avoid jet lag or I would have to change careers.
My years globetrotting helped me develop the best way to avoid jet lag. I have played around with this and I suggest you try and see which of these jet lag remedies works best for you as everyone is different.
The week prior to your trip only eat breakfast and dinner. This is especially useful if you are traveling to the opposite side of the world. If your body isn’t used to eating lunch then it more likely to sleep through its new night time when you reach your destination as that would be its old lunch time. I borrowed this from my previous boss in Hong Kong. He would go back and forth from Hong Kong to the East Coast every few weeks and found this was the best thing for jet lag. I tried it out and it is legit.
Workout the day you leave. I prefer a good long stretch session. My go to for this is either yogadownload.com or stretchitapp.com. They both have wonderful resources and have classes you can take on the go that vary between 15-75 minutes. Usually I am short on time in the mornings before a flight so, I bring a yoga mat with me to the airport and do my stretches in a corner while waiting for the plane.
Drink a ton of water. Seriously, you need to drink a ton of water. Bring a water bottle with you and fill it up at the airport. If you forget your water bottle you can buy a bottle of water and keep refilling it. Once on the airplane go in the back and ask the flight attendants if they will fill up your bottle. I have found it is better to ask after they do the beverage service so they know they have extra water to give you.
Go to bed at the time you normally would in the time zone of your destination. If you are on the plane for only a few hours and in your destination time zone it is about time to go to bed then do everything in your power to try to get to sleep- AND stay asleep until you normally would in your destination’s time zone. For example: If it is 12pm in your time zone but in your destination it is 10pm and you usually go to sleep at 10pm then try to get some sleep and stay that way for a good 6-8 hours if the flight time permits. My little beauty secret for traveling is that put some Channel hydra serum under my eyes and then I have a convex eye mask that I put on. It keeps me moisturized while in the circulating dry plane air and helps reduce the look of travel fatigue.
Don’t eat while on the airplane. You trained your body not to eat lunch as part of your anti jet lag diet, hopefully, and you don’t want to jeopardize your hard work with a tray of less than desirable food. Additionally, airplane food is notorious for having loads of salt, which will bloat you and cause even more swelling in your legs.
Work out when you arrive at your destination. This one is important for me. Even if you can only unroll that yoga mat and get in some more stretching, do it. Getting the body moving, flexing, bending and twisting is what is needed after a long pause of inactivity and for most of us sitting in an uncomfortable chair. I usually bring a foam roller wherever I go and get in a roll for a good 20 minutes after my flights. This helps with lymphatic drainage so I am not puffy feeling and helps me feel invigorated. Mine is a hollow tube so I pack clothes inside of it to save space.
Don’t take a nap. If you sleep when you should be up and about in your destination city then it will be harder for you to go to bed when you normally do. Try staying awake as long as possible to reach your usual bedtime and wake up at your usual time. If you are sleepy and are dying for a nap do a quick stretch or go for a walk and explore your new city.
Recently I went to Paris for my birthday but the timing was a bit difficult as I had a national Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament the following week when I got home. I had to stay on track with my sleeping, training, and mental performance without getting bad jet lag on either side of my trip. Try these tips next time you are traveling across time zones and let me know which of my jet lag remedies worked best for you.
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