Tips to Fight Jet Lag

Tips to Fight Jet Lag
Arriving at your destination is both exciting and thrilling; however, a good bout of jet lag can put a kink in your plans. Jet lag is experienced by travelers who cross one or more time zones. Symptoms of jet lag can include loss of appetite, nausea, headache, sinus problems, insomnia, fatigue, irritability, and even depression. Even when you are only changing your time by an hour, jet lag can set in and ruin your holiday plans. The following five tips will help keep jet lag at bay and keep you on schedule throughout your vacation.

1. Don’t use sleeping pills. Even though it is a good idea to get some sleep on a flight, natural sleep is much better than using sleeping pills. Sleeping pills are meant to be used only when you can devote at least eight hours to sleep. Unless your travel plans involve flying a long way without a layover, you are likely to find yourself groggy and wanting to go back to sleep as soon as you get off the plane.

2. Change to your current time zone as soon as you land. Though it may be tempting to eat and sleep at the time you are used to, it delays your ability to adjust to your new location. Eating and sleeping at the appropriate time will help adjust your body’s internal clock. Stay awake until it is night in your destination. You can go to bed early, but do not go to bed in the afternoon expecting to take a short nap.

3. Sleep on the flight. Though sleeping on planes is difficult, resting on the way to your location is key to avoiding jet lag. Due to air circulation on a plane, it is easiest to fall asleep after the plane has pulled away from the gate, but before it takes off. Use ear plugs, neck pillows, and eye covers to help make it easier to fall asleep.

4. Stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the flight and when you land. Dehydration makes you feel fatigued and can cause irritability. To help ensure you have enough water on the plane, bring an empty, refillable water bottle with you through security, then fill it up at a water fountain, sink, or with bottled water than you can purchase once inside the terminal. Soda, alcohol, juice, tea, and coffee do not provide the same benefits, so skip them during the flight.

5. Get outside for some physical activity. Even short walks have been found to help relieve symptoms of jet lag. Physical activity helps to get your blood circulating and wakes up your system. If possible, do your activity outside in the sunlight, since getting sunlight also helps to readjust your system.

Neck pillows can make napping on planes easier.

Eye covers help block out light on flights.

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