We have all been there. You land at your dream destination but you are unable to fully enjoy it due to the crippling jet lag. Oh, the joys of travelling the world! It is no secret that I severely suffered from jet lag on our recent trip to and from Australia. It probably didn’t help that my 2 year old, who was also suffering, didn’t quite understand that it wasn’t play time at 2am. Remind me why I think its a good idea to travel with kids? So how do you conquer jet lag like an expert? Let me share my list of tips on how to combat the dreaded jet lag so you can start enjoying your holiday or settling back in at home in no time.
So What EXACTLY is Jet Lag?
It’s a short term sleeping disorder experienced when you travel across multiple time zones too quickly. Basically the body clock is out of sync with the timezone that you find yourself in. Whilst it affects your ability to sleep, jet lag symptoms can also include irritability, lack of concentration, increased fatigue and issues with digestion. A general rule of thumb is that for each time zone you cross, it will take 1 day to recover. It is also believed that flying west to east is harder for the body to adjust to. (Wikipedia)
How Do I Combat Jet Lag?
The million dollar question! Unfortunately there are no miracle jet lag treatments and everyone will react differently to the travel and purported remedies. Whether you are a frequent flyer or first time traveller, we are all likely to suffer some side effects when flying around the world. So here are my suggestions to help get you on the road to recovery from jet lag.
#1: EMBRACE THE NEW TIME ZONE
As soon as you board the plane, try to get into the mindset of the time zone that you are travelling to. This may involve sleeping straight away, or staying up much longer than you really want to. Perhaps you will be eating dinner at breakfast time and vice versa. However, the sooner you start thinking in your new time zone, the quicker you will adjust.
#2: FILL UP YOUR TUMMY
I believe hunger has a lot to account for when you find yourself staring at the ceiling in the early hours of the morning. Do the math and it is likely that you will be waking up at meal time … especially if it is your biggest meal of the day. Whilst you might not feel like it, make sure you have something to fill your tummy before going to bed. Bonus tip – have a snack next to your bed just in case you do wake during the night.
#3: HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
Hydration is key! Try to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake before and during the flight (I know, I know – where is the fun in that?). But your body will thank you for drinking plenty of H2O and keeping hydrated. The lack of humidity in the cabin can also cause dehydration, so I always travel with hydration tablets to help restore essential electrolytes.
#4: SEEK A DARK ROOM
Most of us find it easier to sleep in a dark room, or if that is not possible then a sleeping mask is your next best option. Depending on where you are travelling to and the time of year, it is likely the sun will rise and set at completely different times than you are used to. So to ensure an undisturbed sleep, grab that sleeping mask and enjoy a peaceful nights rest.
I’m wearing the Revolutionary Sleep Mask by Sleep Master® (gifted). It features total light elimination and built-in sound muffling.
#5: LOTIONS & POTIONS
Whilst there is no ‘jet lag medicine‘ per se, Melatonin might be a good option for you to help adjust to your new time zone promptly. I have not tried Melatonin myself as a remedy to conquer jet lag, however it has been recommended to me by many seasoned travellers recently. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone which helps regulate our sleep cycle. Synthetic supplements which replicate the effects of Melatonin are available to purchase – these will assist the body to establish the day-night cycle and essentially help you to sleep better. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
- SLEEPING TABLETS
Obviously I am not a medical professional and cannot advise you to take medicines that haven’t been prescribed. However previously I have found that sleeping tablets have worked very well for myself whilst trying to combat jet lag. As I currently have a young child in tow, I do not feel comfortable taking sleeping medication as she may need me through the night. But talk to your health practitioner if you think it might assist you.
- ESSENTIAL OILS
Essential oils can assist with reducing the effects of jet lag and helping you to feel refreshed upon landing. The Jet Lag blend from The Cle. Collective contains cedarwood, lavender and citrus – the perfect combination to have you feeling on top of the world when your A.M. becomes your P.M.
If you want to try the Jet Lag blend for yourself, use the code ‘WANDERANDLUXE’ at the checkout for a 20% discount.
#6: FLY AT THE POINTY END
Perhaps an arrogant suggestion but there is no denying that it will make for a more restful journey. With most airlines now offering full flat beds in business class, it definitely makes travelling long distances more comfortable. Some airlines will even ‘make your bed‘ prior to rest time, with a mattress, pillow and duvet. And if you are really lucky, they will offer pajamas and slippers.
#7: PLAN A STOP OVER
If you are travelling across multiple time zones then consider a stop over to break up the journey. This will allow your body clock to adjust slowly and should lessen the impacts of jet lag when you arrive at your final destination. It’s also a fabulous excuse to explore somewhere new and tick another item off the bucket list.
#8: GET SOME VITAMIN D & EXERCISE
A little fresh air, vitamin D and exercise will always make you feel better – whatever the situation. Once you arrive at your destination, why not take a little walk to blow out the cobwebs and get the blood pumping.
#9: RIDE IT OUT
The reality is that the effects of jet lag will be over in a few days and sometimes you just need to ride these things out. Read a book or watch some Netflix if you can’t get back to sleep. Let the kids jump into your bed and indulge them with the iPad if they cannot settle. If you get too worked up about the situation then its unlikely that you will nod back off to sleep.
So there you have it – all my tips and tricks on how to conquer jet lag. I hope some of these are useful to you and that you can hit the ground running sooner rather than later at your final destination. Make sure you let me know which jet lag remedies work for you. And if you are still looking for inspiration of where to travel in 2020, check out my Travel Bucket List. Good luck, enjoy your trip and safe travels – Shell x
Disclaimer: I am not a health professional and all opinions are based on my own thoughts and experiences. It is imperative that you seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications or using products you are unfamiliar with.