Jet lag commonly affects travellers who cross different or multiple time zone, making you feel cranky and irritated. Symptoms such as fatigue and throbbing headaches are also common when one experiences jet lag. But you can avoid or at least minimise the feeling like a zombie by following these 8 Ways To Overcome Jet Lag.
1) Use Caffeine Wisely
We get it. It’s hard to say “no” to caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea. Timing is key when it comes to fuelling your body with caffeine. Which means if you must drink a cup of that hot java, it’s best to limit your caffeine consumption to early in the morning. Also, avoid consuming caffeine after 2 pm since it takes time to wear off. The more you drink caffeinated beverages later in the day, the worse it will affect your ability to sleep properly when you need it the most.
2) Prioritise Your Water Consumption
Stale and dry air is commonly associated with the aircraft cabin. This, in turn, cause our bodies to lose fluids and eventually lead to dehydration. Which is why it’s important to always drink enough water to stay hydrated while flying.
3) A Good Night’s Sleep Matters Before You Fly
Are you prone to executing last-minute tasks before any important events or matters? For example, do you only start packing your bag the night before a long flight where you should be sleeping instead? If you think that you can replace your lost sleep by catching some z’s on a plane, think again. No matter how hard you try to get comfy on your airplane seat even with an inflatable travel pillow, nothing really beats sleeping in a bed. Never sacrifice sleep and try your best to get a good night’s rest. Your body is going to thank you for it.
4) Get Moving
Never stay idle for too long, particularly if you are on a long flight. Make a habit to get up, stretch your legs and move around whenever possible to get your blood flowing. This is to avoid or at least minimise the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). And at the same time, it also helps to improve circulation. Then, when you have arrived at your destination, try your best to remain physically active. It can be anything as simple as a brisk walk. Anything to give you a nice, feel-good boost of endorphins.
5) The Sun Is Your Best Buddy
Did you know that sunlight plays an important part in our natural circadian rhythms? It basically serves as a 24-hour internal clock within our brains that are responsible for the sleep/wake cycle. Which brings us the importance of syncing with natural light (read: soaking up the sun) during the daytime. Getting plenty of sunlight helps to stimulate your brain as well as your overall body’s biological clock. But most importantly, your circadian rhythm will be able to adapt to the new time zone, particularly if you are travelling overseas.
6) Take Melatonin
Melatonin is an endocrine or hormone secreted by the pineal gland that helps regulate our circadian rhythms. It basically works by signalling the brain to every area of the body that it is time to sleep. So, instead of taking sleeping pills or even a nightcap to help with your sleep issue due to jet lag, you may try taking melatonin. Preferably, around 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime. A small dose — typically around 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg — is generally a good start to help realign your body’s biological clock while relieving jet lag.
7) Tweak Your New Sleep Schedule Ahead Of Time
If you are travelling to multiple time zones or different time zone of your destination, it is highly recommended that you adjust your sleep a week before your trip. The main goal is to allow your body to “get used” to your new time zone. Not sure how to do it? Here are some of the useful jet lag apps such as Jet Lag Rooster and Timeshifter to help manage your jet lag.
8) Be Mindful Of What You Eat
What you eat actually matters, particularly when comes to combating jet lag. For instance, junk food such as burgers and fried chicken tend to mess up your digestive system. Always pick nutrient-rich foods such as bananas, leafy greens, nuts and grilled chicken prior to your trip or while you are travelling.