How to Rest Well and Beat Jet Lag While Traveling

Every day, millions of people around the world embark on new adventures, whether they involve long-haul flights or a short hop across the nation. But no matter the journey, travelers can run into one common enemy—jet lag—which can really put a damper on your activities. Jet lag is caused when the body’s circadian rhythm is drastically disrupted by desperately trying to make up time by settling in different time zones. 

The result of this can be exhaustion and a decrease in the overall quality of your trip. Jet lag can be extremely tiring and downright uncomfortable without the right knowledge and planning. That being said, it’s totally possible to rest well and beat jet lag while traveling. Here’s how.

What is Jet Lag?

Before getting into the how-to of beating jet lag, it’s important to understand what jet lag is and how it works. Jet lag, also known as desynchronosis, is a reaction after a long-distance travel, caused by disruptive sleep cycles. This is mostly due to the interruption of the body’s circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour internal clock humans use to regulate bodily functions. The body’s circadian rhythm can easily be disrupted by dramatic shifts in time across different time zones. Jet lag doesn’t only make a person feel tired, but it can also lead to a decrease in concentration, digestive issues and dehydration.

Combating Jet Lag on Your Next Trip

Now that you have a better understanding of jet lag, here are a few tips and tricks you can use next time you go on a trip.

Prepare Your Body in Advance

If you know you’ll be traveling to a different time zone, the best way to combat jet lag is to start preparing your body in advance. Start moving your sleep schedule slightly closer to the time zone of the country you’re heading to. So, if you are flying from New York to Tokyo, start going to bed one hour earlier a few days in advance to make the transition easier for your body.

Take Advantage of Daylight

Staying up too late and sleeping in can be the worst thing for your body’s bio-rhythm, so make sure to take advantage of natural daylight and use it to help you adjust your body clock. Try to stay up until 8 pm or 9 pm, rather than sleeping in late, even when you’re extremely tired. And, when you wake up, open the curtains and let the sunshine in, as this too will help your body adjust.

Stay Hydrated on the Plane

Staying hydrated is crucial while flying—especially if you’re taking long-distance flights. Dehydration can add to symptoms of jet lag, so make sure to drink plenty of water while on the plane. Before, during and after your flight, you should try to drink at least 3 liters of water to stay hydrated.

Try to Exercise

It can be really tempting to spend your time in the air napping or watching movies, but it may be beneficial to get a bit of exercise instead. Doing some physical activities on the plane can help regulate your blood flow and get rid of any built-up toxins in your body. Walking around and stretching your legs can do wonders in combating jet lag and making sure your body is fresh when you arrive at your destination.

Watch What You Eat

Your diet while traveling can have a huge impact on how quickly you adjust to different time zones. While it’s always best to eat foods packed with vitamins, minerals and minerals, you should also focus on eating and drinking things that are easy to digest. Focusing on foods like cooked grains, fresh fruits, cooked veggies and fermented probiotics will ensure that your digestion stays on track and that your body clock stays in rhythm.

Stay Away from Alcohol & Caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine are two of the worst culprits when it comes to disrupting natural circadian rhythms. Both of these substances can cause dehydration, which is only going to make jet lag worse. So, it’s best to avoid them entirely while you’re traveling, especially when crossing time zones.

Practice Good Hygiene Habits

Finally, your hygiene habits play a huge role in how well you rest during your trip. Before bed, make sure to engage in stress-relieving activities that will help you wind down, such as taking a warm bath, meditating, or having a cup of chamomile tea. This will help your body relax and reset itself to the new time zone.

No matter where you’re traveling, jet lag can have a huge impact on your trip. But, with the right preparation, you can beat jet lag and rest well while on the move. This involves starting to adjust your body’s clock before departing, taking advantage of natural daylight, maintaining a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, and implementing good hygiene habits. By following this advice, you’ll be able to enjoy your journey and arrive feeling fresh, energized and ready for the adventures ahead.