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10 Certain Ways To Beat Jet Lag

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If you’re a frequent traveler, you know what it’s like to jump from one time zone to another, only to get off that plane and get hit with jet lag. Jet lag almost feels like a punishment for your fabulous jet-setting vacations, but the headaches, irritability and general zombie-ness can be annoying. While there is no magical “reset” button, there are some ways to minimize the time it takes for you to adjust your body clock and beat jet lag as quickly as possible. After all, you have places to go and people to see and you don’t have time to waste on naps.


1. Book your flight strategically

If possible, try booking a flight that will minimize jet lag. If you are flying west, book an afternoon flight. If you are flying east, book a morning flight. Landing at a sensible time will minimize the amount of swearing that happens when you’re landing in a strange country at 3 a.m. completely exhausted.


2. Shift your time for long trips

Depending on your schedule, try shifting your sleep schedule before you even leave on your trip. A few days before you leave, try going to bed one hour earlier or later each day. Try to also move your mealtimes. That might mean a super-early trip to the gym in the morning and going to bed before your favorite TV shows are over but you’ll be grateful when you arrive at your destination feeling a little more prepared to face the world.


3. Adjust your watch

Even before you board the plane, adjust your watch to your destination’s local time. It doesn’t seem like much, but every time you glance at your watch, you’re telling your subconscious what time it’s going to be and that will help you mentally prepare before you even land.


4. Drink lots of water

Yes, your seat mate will hate you, but being hydrated is worth all those trips to the bathroom. The cabin air pressure is dehydrating, which won’t help your travel hangover and not drinking enough water will leave you with a headache and dry skin. Drink as much water or herbal tea as you can, stay away from sugary juice and coffee and whatever you do, don’t drink alcohol. Sorry, but alcohol will only dehydrate you more and make your jet lag more painful.


5. Try to eat light meals

During a flight, the only thing happening is either food or a terrible inflight movie. Even though the food isn’t great, it’s something to do, but try to resist eating too much. Heavy meals, especially ones heavy on salt will keep you from getting that much-needed rest. If possible, stick to protein and plant-based foods to beat jet-lag and keep you feeling fresh instead of bloated.


6. Sleep on the plane

Obviously, this is easier said than done, but if you can get a little shut-eye on the flight, it’ll seriously help your jet lag. Bring an eye mask, earplugs and try to unplug from the what’s happening around you. Just make sure that you’re falling asleep when it’s night time in your destination, not night time at home. However, if it’s daytime at your destination while you’re flying, it might be better to give up sleeping and use the flight time for relaxing or working.


7. Walk around during the flight

Try to keep the blood flowing during the flight by walking up and down the aisle or doing mini stretches in your seat. Keeping muscle aches away is key for keeping you relaxed and helping you feel a little happier when you actually get off the plane. That doesn’t mean you have to do pushups by the bathroom, just some gentle stretching will help.


8. Get some sunshine STAT

Instead of chugging caffeine, go outside! Sunshine acts like a natural stimulant that triggers your body into “waking up”  and reseting your internal clock. If you arrive at your destination during the day, get as much light exposure as you possibly can. Go for a walk or relax by the pool- the more natural light you can get when you first arrive, the quicker you’ll get over jet lag.


9. Rest at sundown

If it’s still light when you land, fight the urge to instantly pass out. Push through your fatigue by doing an activity you’ve been looking forward to or just walking the streets and exploring. Then once the sun is setting, head back to your hotel to get some rest and get your circadian rhythm off on the right foot.


10. Take a warm bath

After a long flight, sometimes it’s really hard to unwind and fall asleep. Instead of resorting to sleeping pills, draw yourself a bath when you get to the hotel and treat yourself to some quiet time. If there isn’t a tub, drink a warm cup of tea. Don’t resort to the mini bar, since alcohol won’t help with that groggy feeling the next morning. Save the wine for the following night, once you’re feeling better than ever.

What are your remedies for jet lag? Tell us in the comments below!

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    July 30, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing these tips with us Brooke. I have been dreading travelling to countries with different time zones as the one I’m used to and have plain avoided them altogether. These tips seem handy and easy enough to follow. I will try them when I brave going from Africa to USA or South East Asia 🙂

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    Nathalie Coeln
    July 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Wow great tips! We’ll make sure we try that out when we fly to Perth very soon 🙂 x

    Keri Blair
    July 17, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    I love these ideas and will try them on my next trip. Thanks.

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    July 16, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    You forgot the part about just staying up, and drinking lots of coffee! I found that just sucking it up and staying awake is what works best. Thanks for all these other tips too! You’re spot on about the sunshine!

    July 16, 2015 at 3:28 am

    I flew from Kuala Lumpur to Los Angeles two months ago and I had the worst jet lag ever! Took me five days to get over it. But thanks for the tips. Will keep it in mind for my next journey!

    Ariah Holmes
    July 15, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Thank you so much!!! I’m about to leave for a Europe trip and these will be very useful!! I’m going from Australia to England, where the time zones aren’t even close to similar. So I’ll definitely be taking his advice!

    Salman Dean
    July 15, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    These tips are literally a life saver! Thanks!!

    Ryan | A Backpack & A Boarding Pass
    July 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Thank you for the awesome tips!

    Sian @ The Blonde Tourist
    July 15, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Great tips! I always try to stay awake until nighttime comes around at my destination (even if I arrive early in the day) so my body clock gets used to the time change. Fight the Sleep!! Drinking lots of water (no sneaky wines on the plane) is also a great tip. Helps to sit on an aisle seat (if you’re travelling solo) for this one 😉

    BT x

    Melissa @
    July 15, 2015 at 7:31 am

    These are great tips!
    This sounds totally weird, but here’s a bizarre but free travel hack:

    To refresh from a travel nap, I dip my pinkies in water and dab them into my eyes.

    *don’t judge me*

    Melissa @
    July 15, 2015 at 7:29 am

    These are great tips!
    This sounds totally weird, but here’s a bizarre but free travel hack:

    To refresh from a travel nap, I dip my pinkies in water and dab them into my eyes.

    *don’t judge me*

    July 15, 2015 at 7:25 am

    I have a new job as cabin crew that I will hopefully be starting soon and I am dreading having to deal with jetlag, apparently it is quite hard to ever adjust as you are constantly flying with minimal rest!

    chelsea @ the new wifestyle
    July 15, 2015 at 5:27 am

    totally agree with these! it’s hard in some ways because i just want to booze it up with all the free alcohol on international flights but i know that it won’t help my jetlag. actually leaving from PDX>london in two weeks! it’s my first trip to london and i’m about to get my harry potter nerd ON!

    July 15, 2015 at 2:21 am

    I’ve flown so many times and still have a hard time beating jet lag! It’s difficult for me to sleep during long flights.

    A bit unrelated but shouldn’t author names also be at the top of the post or in the thumbnail? Was reading previous posts and some people refer to Brooke in the comments, although she didn’t write those posts!

    Meagan @
    July 14, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    These are great tips! I always try to stay awake if I’ve landed at my destination mid-day. It’s hard since I love a good nap, but it helps SO much! I’m going to start trying light and healthier meals on flights and adjusting my watch at take-off. Hopefully those will help, too!

    Diana | Yellow Mondays
    July 14, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    I think it’s all about mental preparedness! Getting on the time zone you’re going to before you even leave I think is the best way to beat it. Sleep on the plane when it’s night time for where you’re headed and wake yourself up when it’s “daytime” there. I keep myself busy with books and movies loaded on my iPad during flights to keep myself wake!

    July 14, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Jet lag can be a weird thing… When I traveled from Europe to South America, where the time difference is about 8 hours, my jet lag only attacked my a week later or so!

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    July 14, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    I’m usually pretty good with jet lag. I’m usually quite gung ho about it – as in, I’ll try to doze a little on the plane (if it’s night at my destination) and just force myself to stay away once I’m there until it’s an acceptable time to sleep!

    July 14, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    I’ve been doing most of this already, but the tip about setting your watch in advance is just brilliant! Definately going to try that when I head off next time! 🙂

    Sarah Lynn
    July 14, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    Great advice!
    This should come in handy on Monday when I fly from Athens-Toronto.
    After months on the road, I can’t wait for a good bath (in a familar tub)!
    Sarah Lynn

    Jennifer @ This Off Script Life
    July 14, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    These are great tips. I always try to set my watch to the local time when I board a plane, and it really does help!

    July 14, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    I travel once or twice a year from Toronto to Brussels, and the only direct flight is overnight – it is so brutal to struggle with sleep for the 8 hour journey and then arrive at 7am! I haven’t been able to perfect it yet, but what helps is to go through my normal pre-bed routine on the plane – take off my makeup, wash my face, apply some face oil or cream, etc. It helps my body get in the mood for sleep, so at least I can get in a few hours while still on the plane.

    July 14, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks for these tips! I feel choosing the right flights is the most important thing. I remember last time I traveled from Helsinki to Toronto I didn’t have a jet lag at all, even though the clock was 7 hours less in Toronto. It was because I chose the flight that took off at 8 pm in Helsinki and arrived at 10 pm local time in Toronto. I can’t sleep on the plane so I just went straight to the hotel and slept the whole night and in the morning it was like I had always lived in that time zone.

    July 14, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Trying to sleep on a plane is the worst! I’ve found that if I can stay awake until a reasonable bed time once I’m at my destination, one good night’s sleep is enough to adjust to the new zone.

    July 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    I wouldn’t have thought of a lot of these tips. Adjusting your sleep cycle makes sense and so does drinking water and trying to push through with an activity. I always try to eat a meal before a long flight but I can see how that could negatively impact you.


    Stephanie Huynh
    July 14, 2015 at 11:52 am

    It’s amazing what a good sleep mask can do for you too. nice tips!

    July 14, 2015 at 11:33 am

    I don’t have a remedy for Jetlag, however when I flew from Japan to New York a few months ago for a 5 day trip, I never really adjusted properly to the timezone there, so had horrific jetlag the whole trip! On the upside, I had absolutely no issues adjusting when I got home, because I never got over the jetlag when I was there!

    July 14, 2015 at 10:40 am

    These tips are awesome!