We all need more energy when we are traveling, but when we’re trying to beat the dreaded condition they call jet lag, it can make any vacation or business trip very difficult to adjust to. So, if you are someone who doesn’t adjust to new time zones that well (like me), are there any things we can do to prepare ourselves better, as well as adjust more effectively during and after the flight?
Don’t Be So Strict With Your Schedule
If you’re going on a long-haul flight, you definitely need to do your best to feel refreshed when you land. If you have a very strict schedule in place, especially with business meetings and the like, you need to do your utmost to relax whilst mid-air. This also includes relaxing in the days leading up to your flight! If you have a very strict structure, especially when it comes to your sleeping and eating schedules, this is going to be harder to fix when you are in a different time zone. Try to be a little more lax and realize traveling equates to needing flexibility.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep Before Flying
This may sound completely obvious, but sometimes we get so excited or pent-up about our flight or trip ahead, that we don’t get any sleep at all. And while it’s possible to shift your sleep schedule when flying, we still need to ensure that we are rested before we head out. A lot of people make the mistake of trying to tire themselves out so they sleep on the plane, but this is not a good plan of action. I did this when I worked at night and then flew home the next morning to visit family, it was brutal! It is far better for you to ensure that you are rested, in mind and body, before embarking on any long journey. It may sound like common sense, but it’s a piece of advice that we don’t normally follow.
In fact, any sort of medication, like sleeping pills, as well as caffeine, need to be avoided like the plague. Your best option would be to hydrate yourself. Being on a plane dehydrates you very quickly, and while there are certain planes, such as the A350s and A380s, that have high tech humidification systems, which helps retain moisture in the air, you may not have the funds necessary to get on these types of planes. In which case, your best bet is to drink plenty of water, use some nasal saline if needed, and avoid alcohol.
Mentally Prepare Yourself
You can do this by setting your watch to the time of the destination, so you can get yourself ready in a psychological sense, but make sure you don’t do this until you get on the plane! Mentally preparing yourself is not just about getting yourself time zone ready, it’s about the right attitudes to ensure that you are awake. This doesn’t just mean having a good night’s sleep and avoiding stimulants, there are little ways to prime your brain, such as exercise, but also supplements like Vitamin D and a great multivitamin.
Jet lag can put a damper on anybody’s vacation time, so if you are prone to feeling like a zombie for the first few days on your vacation, try a few of these, and you should notice a difference.