Even if you love to travel and explore the world, you may be concerned about having to experience jet lag. Jet lag, the informal term for the sleep problems and related issues you may experience after traveling and changing time zones, is common after flying on airplanes and may lead to exhaustion, dizziness, temporary sleep disorders and more. While you might think that jet lag is simply an inevitable part of travel, the truth is that you can help prevent it by planning ahead.
1. Get Out and About to Adjust to the Local Time
One of the most effective strategies for fighting jet lag is to adjust to the local time as soon as you arrive. While it may be tempting to go to bed early after arrival and to think that you’ll simply adjust over the coming days, the very first day at your destination is crucial. This means that:
- If you arrive in the morning, you should go sightseeing after checking into the hotel and do your best to stay awake
- If you arrive in the evening, you should go out for a quick dinner and then go to sleep to get on the local sleep schedule
- If you arrive in the afternoon, you should explore the area near your hotel until it’s time for bed
2. Fall Asleep Easier with Melatonin
Of course, if you can’t fall asleep during the first night, you’re at your destination, you may want to try using a natural supplement. Before you jet off, you may want to buy melatonin online just in case. Melatonin is a hormone that helps you fall asleep easier, so it’s a helpful backup to have handy in case sleeplessness hits when you’re trying to get acclimated to your destination!
3. Focus on Eating a Fresh, Healthy Diet and Staying Hydrated
Even if you use melatonin to get to sleep on your first night at the destination, your body likely won’t be able to fully recover unless you eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated while there. It’s ok to indulge while on your trip, but make sure you maintain a base diet full of fresh, local produce and water-rich meals.
4. Reset Your Watch and Sleep on the Plane
If you really want to ensure that you feel rested and energized upon arrival, try convincing your body that your time zone has shifted while still on the plane. If your plane arrives in the morning at the destination, for example, try getting as much sleep as you can during the flight. You may want to shift around to find comfortable plane sleeping positions. It may also help to reset your watch during your flight and to remind yourself of your new time zone.
5. Get Some Outdoor Exercise Upon Arrival
When you start to feel the fatigue of jet lag coming on after you arrive at your destination, try to squeeze in some extra physical activity to help prevent the onslaught of exhaustion. Getting up and moving can help your body fight off jet lag and may leave you feeling more energized than before! This is also a great way to get yourself pumped up to visit the local area. After your arrival, be sure you:
- Go for outdoor jogs or runs to explore the local area
- Time your workouts to coincide with daylight hours
- Schedule exercise in the morning, if possible, to help get yourself energized and ready for the day ahead
6. Try Preparing Your Body’s Natural Rhythm Before Leaving Home
Last but not least, one of the best ways you can prime your body to beat jet lag is by adjusting your natural rhythm before leaving home. In order to help your body transition into a new time zone, it’s best to avoid sudden shocks. With this approach, you slowly start to adjust to the schedule of your destination before taking off. You can implement this strategy by:
- Getting to sleep a few hours earlier or later than usual
- Starting to take vitamins and eating extra healthfully to boost your immune system
- Preparing yourself mentally for the upcoming time change
Traveling to different parts of the world is a wonderful way to broaden your horizons but dealing with jet lag can put a damper on any trip. Fortunately, it’s possible to beat jet lag with these clever tricks up your sleeve.