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Smarter Travel: Effective Tips For Beating Jet Lag

jet lag

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Jet lag can be one of the most frustrating parts of travel. Generally, it takes one full day to recover for every time zone crossed. Who has time for that? Luckily, these tips can help you combat this dreaded condition.

Before You Go

Adjust Your Sleep Pattern Before you leave on your trip, start adjusting your sleep pattern to fit with the time zone of your destination. On the weeks leading up, alter your bedtime and wake-up time to be an hour forward or backward accordingly. If you’re going across multiple time zones, gradually add or subtract hours to your sleep schedule as much as possible. To help you get used to the new cycle, turn off all electronics and do something relaxing like reading or meditating at least an hour before you plan to go to sleep. You may also want to use a sleeping aid like melatonin or eat a meal with sleep-inducing L-tryptophan like turkey. In the morning, go for a brisk walk or exercise to get your blood flowing. Take Care Of Your Body It’s important to keep hydrated and intake proper nutrients before getting on the plane. Dehydration can affect a good night’s sleep and make it difficult for your body to adjust to your new cycle, so stay away from caffeine and alcohol. Moreover, a healthy diet ensures your body can work to its fullest potential. I recommend adding EBOOST to your water for added nutrients. Drink Ginger Tea According to Nigel Holmes of Lonely Planet, ginger tea is excellent for curing jet lag. To make a cup for yourself, grate two teaspoons of fresh ginger into a cup and add boiling water. Steep the drink for five minutes and then enjoy. Fasting I will admit, I personally have never done this; however, a study done at Harvard Medical School found that fasting for a minimum of 16 hours before you arrive to your destination can help reset your body’s natural clock.

On The Plane

Set Your Watch Set your watch to the new destination’s time, and make sure to eat and sleep accordingly. Chew On Ginger While drinking ginger tea will help before you get on the plane, chewing fresh ginger on the airplane will help fight off jet lag. Limit Your Eating Are you actually hungry? Most of the time when I eat on a plane, it’s out of boredom. Not only can eating too much affect your sleep, but plane meals tend to be high in sodium since your taste buds change at higher altitudes, which can lead to dehydration. Try to stick to fresh fruit and water. Sip Away At water, that is. Sure, it may be annoying to have to climb over other passengers to use that tiny bathroom, but your body will thank you once you land.

Upon Arrival

Resist Any Urges To Sleep While your body may want to go to sleep based on what time it is at home, don’t let it. Push yourself to set your internal clock to your new time zone. Additionally, remember the amount of sunlight your body receives is directly correlated to your sleep schedule, so get outside and enjoy the day even if you’re sleepy. Get Rid Of Disturbances Make sure your hotel room is void of any possible disturbances to sleep, like light or noise. If you’re room is in a noisy location like on a city street or above a bar, ask for a room change. Moreover, ear plugs and sleeping masks can be helpful for a good night’s rest. Don’t Think About What Time It Is At Home This is a mental trick. Once you remind yourself of the time difference at home, you’re going to fool yourself into being sleepy even if you really aren’t. Forget what time it is at home and enjoy the present time in your new destination. Lift Your Spirits If you’re feeling tired on your trip, lift your spirits. This could mean booking a tour you find exciting, going for a run in a local park or sniffing an energizing scent like orange, peppermint or eucalyptus.

About Jessie Festa

Jessie Festa is an New York-based travel content creator who is passionate about empowering her audience to experience new places and live a life of adventure. She is the founder of the solo female travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and is editor-in-chief of Epicure & Culture, an online conscious tourism magazine. Along with writing, Jessie is a professional photographer and is the owner of NYC Photo Journeys, which offers New York photo tours, photo shoots, and wedding photography. Her work has appeared in publications like USA Today, CNN, Business Insider, Thrillist, and WestJet Magazine.

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