Jetlag sure is a bitch. Since coming back from Italy, I’ve been waking up at 4am and starving, feeling tired and sluggish at random hours of the day, and in a general state of mental fuzz. When you cross multiple time zones so quickly, your body is completely out of sync and desperately has to try to readjust to a normal schedule. Without a doubt the first thing I try to figure out every time I travel internationally is how to beat jetlag.
I’m incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to travel and would love to see the entire world someday – but as you already know, traveling takes a tremendous toll on your body. As glamorous as it sounds to have a constant jetset life, I know that it isn’t always as great as it seems. My first job out of college involved flying somewhere every week and let me tell you, the novelty of life on the go wore off quickly.
Traveling disrupts your sleep schedule, your eating and workout routines, and can do a number on your skin and digestive system. Unfortunately, it takes about one day for each time zone crossed to fully recover from the effects of jetlag. I’m still recovering, but a few things have helped enough that going back to work and sitting at a desk hasn’t been as difficult as I anticipated.
ON THE FLIGHT:
Water. Flying dehydrates you like crazy. I always bring a refillable bottle or buy one of the large 1L bottles from a newsstand before boarding. Ideally you should drink 8 oz or more every hour you’re on the plane.
Be prepared. I like to pack ear plugs, noise cancelling headphones, an eye mask, a neck pillow, and a sheet mask. You might get some funny looks, but it’ll help your skin from the nasty air in the plane and you’ll be comfortable : ).
Sleep. If you’re one of those people that can sleep anywhere, LUCKY YOU!! If you’re flying first or business class, same. I don’t mess around with sleeping pills… but I try to turn off any electronics nearby and get as much rest as possible.
Avoid alcohol/caffeine/carbonated beverages. Alcohol and caffeine will disrupt your sleep and carbonated beverages will bloat you like crazy. It’s all the fun stuff I know, but you’ll feel a million times better when you step off the plane.
Avoid plane food. Honestly, I don’t touch the food on planes. I usually try to adjust my eating schedule to match my destination over the course of my flight. When flying internationally, you’re often in the air during sleeping hours of your destination, so I usually try to avoid eating anything until I land.
AFTER THE FLIGHT:
Workout. Ideally outside. Natural sunlight is one of the best things to help you readjust to your new time zone. Getting your blood flowing and breaking a sweat is one of the best cures to any stress : ).
Go to the spa. Get a massage and relax – it’ll help release the stress that comes with flying and help you sleep better.
Give yourself time. Even seasoned road warriors often need a day or two to reacclimate. International flights and the jetlag that comes with them are no fun. Although tbh, I’m loving waking up at 5am and going to bed at 9pm. #grandma
How do you beat jetlag?
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