Jet lag is the one unavoidable component of overseas travel that jetsetters truly dread. After all, it can be hard to enjoy the first leg of an adventure in a new country when your body is screaming at you for sleep. So, how can you quickly shake it off so that it doesn’t ruin your trip or leave you wrecked for days? Simply give the following tips a try.
- At home
When travelling abroad, you know that you’re almost certainly going to have to deal with jet lag once you’ve returned home. This makes it one of the few travel hiccups you can entirely prepare for. Do you have a comfy mattress? If not, head down to Sleepy’s and pick one up — you’ll be thankful for it when you get back from your trip and want nothing more than 18 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Start changing your sleeping habits now — waking up earlier or going to bed later might help your body adjust to different time zones. Hit the gym as often as you can too, as fit and healthy bodies bounce back from jet lag much faster than unhealthy ones.
- In the air
There’s a few things you can do to further minimise eventual jet lag while in transit. On the day of travel, whatever you eat should be light and easy to digest. A heavy, unhealthy meal puts an extra strain on your body. Take plenty of water with you, and if you need, to eat try to make it something protein-rich, such as nuts. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, and make sure you’ve set your watch or smartphone clock to your destination’s time zone, and behave accordingly — if it’s night time there, go to sleep.
Where the mind leads, the body will follow. Continue to behave as though your body clock isn’t in a tailspin upon arrival — if it’s daytime outside, go for a walk and get as much sun as you possibly can. Set yourself a challenge — how close to 9pm can you get before you absolutely must go to sleep? Your body is built for adaptation to new circumstances, and it is capable of adapting to a new time zone relatively quickly, but you must have the right mindset.
- Your health
As mentioned, one of the best ways to manage jet lag is to keep as healthy as possible. A healthy lifestyle will help your body recover faster. Get out and go for a jog, use your hotel gym, eat healthily and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated drinks as much as possible — they’ll only keep you awake.
- Useful items
There are a few useful items you can take with you to help ward off jet lag. Face masks and earplugs are essential, especially if you have trouble sleeping during the day or in transit. A comfortable travel pillow is also a worthy investment, while keeping a bottle of water on hand is a must.
These are just a few of the ways to quickly combat the scourge of jet lag. Whether you end up using all of these tips or coming up with your strategy, just remember to stay proactive, stay positive and enjoy your holiday.