There are endless benefits to being a frequent traveler. Hopping around the world is certainly one of the best ways to broaden the mind. It exposes a person to experiences, encounters, and cultures that they might otherwise never see. So, it is worth all of that backpacking, waiting around at terminal gates, and jumping on and off long coach rides.
The only major downside to frequent flying is the jet lag. It is something that even the most seasoned travellers can really struggle with, because it is, essentially, just like having your whole world turned upside down. Day becomes night, hours feel like they’re in the wrong place; this is why flying through time zones is such a pain.
Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to beat travel fatigue and help your mind adjust quickly to a new clock.
Have a Comfortable Bed
If you are a person who travels all the time – for work, perhaps – jet lag is an inconvenience that should be dealt with proactively, rather than as something that just happens and must be tolerated. After all, one or two bouts of long distance fatigue are fine, as long as you know that you don’t have to do it all again next month. Frequent flyers should have a comfortable bed at home, with a memory foam mattress, so that they are guaranteed the best sleep here at least.
Adjust Your Watch
Even a change as small as switching your watch to match the new time zone can make a big difference. Every time that you glance at the numbers, you’re reminding your subconscious that things are different, so it won’t be such a big shock when you step off the plane and have to quickly adjust.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
One of the easiest ways to beat the jet lag beast is to stay hydrated. While all of those trips to the restroom might annoy the person next you, when you land, you’ll feel ready to face the day; no matter what time it is. The best thing to drink is, of course, lots of fresh water, but herbal teas are a good choice too. What you must do is steer clear of sugary, fizzy drinks and alcohol. They’ll only dehydrate you and you’ll leave the airport feeling groggy and lethargic.
Stick to Light Meals and Snacks
It can be tempting to turn to food during a long, uneventful flight, but eating heavy meals is another way to fast track jet lag and end up feeling under the weather. On the other hand, it is much better to eat than not on long distance flights. Just stick to light ingredients like salad, egg, fish, and other protein based choices. Sugary and salty foods will lead to bloating, so avoid like the plague if you are prone to bad bouts of jet lag.
Catch a Nap While in the Air
Not everybody can just drop off to sleep on a flight, but if you are an easy sleeper, take your chance to almost completely cancel out jet lag. This is really the best possible way to adjust to the new time zone, because your brain and body are sleeping through the chance, instead of being constantly conscious of it happening. Make sure that you pack an eye mask and earplugs in your hand luggage, because planes are noisy, hectic places.
Tough It Out and Push Through
The biggest mistake that people make after long flights is to instantly jump into the hotel bed. The urge is perfectly understandable, but to cancel out jet lag, you need to be tough and work with the time zone that you find yourself in. So, for example, if you travel from Sydney to New York, the quickest way to adjust is to go to bed at the new ‘right’ time. Push through, stay awake, and hit the streets for some sunshine; then, go to bed once it gets dark.
Why Sleep is an Essential Part of Regular Travel
For those who travel long distance all the time, sleep is usually one of the first sacrifices. Whether it is waiting at the airport for early morning flights or skipping through time zones on your way to a dream destination; you’ll quickly find that wanderlust does come with downsides. The good news is that taking care of your body and creating a responsive, flexible sleep routine is an easy way to beat the jet lag and arrive feeling fresh and ready to face the world.
Do you have any tips to share on how to beat jet lag?