Being a victim of Jet Lag can have many side effects and health concerns for us. I have dealt with jet lag for many years, and can honestly say it’s one of the most difficult things to deal with when traveling.
Jet lag is very aggravating and can have you arriving at your final destination too tired to enjoy any of it. It’s important to understand how to avoid jet lag before setting out on your trip. Jet lag can make it extremely hard to think clearly and make quick decisions. It can also impact your health. There are a number of things you can do to minimize the effects of jet lag on you and your travel plans.
What are the symptoms of Jet Lag?
Symptoms may include:
- General tiredness and fatigue
- Inability to sleep at night
- inability to stay awake during the day
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling disoriented
This list is not inclusive. Other symptoms are possible. Symptoms are worse when traveling West to East. You can refer to Medicinenet.com for more information.
According to MedicalNewsToday.com, jet lag is “a physiological condition that results from a disruption in the body’s circadian rhythms, also known as the body clock. It is seen as a circadian rhythm disorder”.
Here are some great tips for avoiding Jet Lag:
1. Prepare Ahead
One of the best things you can do to avoid jet lag is to be prepared before you get on your flight as much as possible.
Before leaving, make sure you have all your pre-trip errands complete and in order. This would include things like personal banking, shopping, packing, instructions for family members, avoid doing anything last minute that would prevent you from being rested and ready to go.
Avoid late night going away parties, and any staying up late resulting in not getting a good night’s sleep the night before. Get a good full night of proper sleep the night before you depart.
As mentioned earlier, jet lag is worse on flights eastward rather than westward, as it can be much easier to force yourself to stay up a little longer than it is to fall asleep earlier than you are used to.
Did you know daytime flights cause less jet lag than overnight flights? That is why overnight flights are also called “red-eye” flights. It can be hard to get proper rest on these flights, and it’s recommended to bring along some travel accessories to help you rest.
Please consider some of these must-have travel accessories for long flights. Making sure you take time to order them in advance of your trip will make a big difference not only in the quality of your flight but also your first days at your destination by shortening your jet lag as much as possible.
2. Keep Hydrated
It is very easy to become dehydrated on an aircraft. The longer the flight, the worse it can be. Drink lots of fluids, non-alcoholic ones, this will directly combat the dry air on your plane. Water is by far the best choice. Also, it is best to avoid coffee and teas if possible.
Alcoholic drinks have always been a poor choice for combating dehydration. And they have a stronger effect on your body in the thinner air at the cruising altitude of an aircraft.
And besides dehydration, I have seen it far too many times, someone will have a few drinks in the air and it always leads to a bad situation.
Try to exercise regularly in the days leading up to travel day and if possible to avoid exposure to people with flu or colds. You don’t want to get sick just before leaving for a trip.
While in the air, feel free to get up and exercise as often as you feel to. Try walk up and down the aisles or just standing up for a bit. Don’t be surprised if you see others doing some twisting and/or stretching exercises in their seats or the isle of the plane. IF you feel like it would help your body, or just help you stay awake, do some yourself. Moving like this will reduce discomfort from swollen legs and feet and prevents poor circulation problems and deep vein thrombosis.
Additionally, to prevent this, I highly recommend this pair of air travel compression socks. They will help prevent swelling and blood clotting on a long flight. They help keep your circulation going even with long periods of sitting still. They are perfect if you experience swollen calves and/or ankles.
Lastly, if you have multiple long flights, get off the planes when possible at stopovers, and go for a walk around the airport. It can really help how you feel and minimize the effects of jet lag when you reach your destination.
4. Increase Melatonin
There are many different products that can help you avoid jet lag as well. Melatonin, a hormone produced naturally by the body, can be taken in pill form to help produce sleepiness as a great way to help avoid and prevent jet lag.
If you plan to use a melatonin supplement, it is important to take it right on time or it could really throw your system off balance and make matters worse. When traveling east, on the day of the flight, take one dose of melatonin between 6 and 7 p.m. local time.
On the day of arrival and for the next four days, take a dose of melatonin at bedtime (between 9 and 10 p.m.) local time of your new location. If you are on a stopover and will be traveling further east, take one dose of melatonin on the day before flying onward, again between 6 and 7 p.m. local time, instead of at bedtime.
On the day of arrival at the final destination, take one dose of melatonin at bedtime (local time) and for the next four days.
For westward travel, melatonin will not help if you are going less than five time zones to the west. For distant westward travel, on the day of arrival, take one dose of melatonin at local time bedtime and continue to do so for the next four days.
If you wake up before 4 a.m., take a little more melatonin (half a dose) to get a complete night’s sleep. Dissolve this dose under the tongue, if possible, so it will be more fast-acting.
Another product, No-Jet-Lag, has been proven effective in a scientific trial of round-the-world passengers.
Also confirmed by long-haul flight attendants in a test conducted in cooperation with their union. Since it is a homeopathic preparation using extremely low dosages, No-Jet-Lag has no side effects and is compatible with other medications.
A second great product that is proven to be effective is Jet – Lag Rapid Reset. This Helps fight sleeplessness associated with jet lag by helping to reset your internal clock (also known as circadian rhythm). If you are traveling through multiple time zones, Jet – Lag Rapid Reset is what you need. You can recover from jet lag after just one dose!
Either one of the products mentioned above can be a great help.
5. Avoid Sleeping Pills
Sleeping pills are not advisable, especially on the plane. They produce a drugged state which has little in common with natural sleep.
It can suppress natural body movement, not desirable in a cramped environment. Many over-the-counter sleeping pills are anti-histamines which tend to cause dehydration which is the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish.
This will create a parched, sore throat when combined with the already dehydrating atmosphere inside the airplane.
Instead, try bringing a sleeping mask or eye mask along with you. Also, a travel pillow and earplugs can help you get quality sleep while flying. If there are some spare seats on the flight, lay across them, since it’s easier to fall asleep laying flat than sitting propped up.
Try This Jet Lag Calculator
We know when we travel long distances across multiple time zones, our body’s internal clock gets thrown off. If you are going on a trip and concerned about jet lag, try a jet lag calculator.
This will help you by setting a schedule to determine the best time to seek light and darkness. This jet lag calculator will ease the adjustment period of multiple time zones and cut down on its effects.
Here is a great video on how to beat Jet Lag and other valuable travel tips:
Hopefully, you found these tips helpful as ways to avoid jet lag.
Thanks for reading!
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