Traveling has always been a part of my life. Since infancy, my parents have traveled with me, and from the age of 4 we moved countries (several times). With that, it’s fair to say I am the expert on jet-lag and how to alleviate this preventable condition.
Jet-lag is defined as fatigue after crossing time zones. It can affect us even with a three hour time zone difference, not to mention those long international flights which can usually knock you out for a few days. However, in 2021 we rarely have time to reset our circadian rhythms over a span of a few days – we need to hit the ground running as soon as we land. Whether we fly from LA to Paris or Amsterdam to New York, here’s a few tips that will help you reset your circadian rhythm within 24 hours so you can quickly make the best out of your trip!
Early Morning Flights
Get on an early morning flight – red eyes are horrible for sleep. Getting a good night’s rest the night before you fly in important to give you the energy for your trip ahead. Early morning flights (depending where you and in which direction around the globe) can have you landing in your destination usually the same day as departure. It also allows you to wait until sunset before you sleep for that evening.
Exercise upon arrival to your destination – this may sound a bit crazy but it makes perfect sense. When we fly, we are at an increased risk for blood clots, dehydration, and muscle aches. Exercise can help alleviate most of these as it helps reset our bodies, improving our nightly sleep and resetting our circadian rhythm.
Do not nap until the sun has set in your destination. It’s hard but possible. Avoiding nap will help your body fight fatigue and have a better night’s rest.
You should be drinking water before, during and after your trip. Dehydration is a direct result of traveling. Oftentimes, the lack of water can lead to feelings of dehydration and even body aches. Drinking water before, during, and after your flight is essential.
We are all deficient in this essential mineral. Taking magnesium
can help improve our sleep
, reduce anxiety
, alleviate muscle aches, and enable our body to better absorb vitamins efficiently.
Avoid alcohol during travel. Alcohol disrupts restorative sleep whether you are traveling or drinking a glass of wine at home. Combining alcohol with travel and you’re in for trouble – if you must drink then consider a drink once you’ve landed and have had at least 1 liter of water beforehand.
Supplement with Melatonin
My second favorite supplement (magnesium being #1) to help with jet-lag is melatonin
. Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by our bodies. Take 5-10 mg 30 minutes before you sleep.
I enjoy meditating during my flights – it’s the best place to really calm the mind. It’s quiet, dark, and you don’t have too many distractions.
You can do this by simply focusing on your breath, using a mediation app, or practicing on your own for at least twenty minutes.
It’s taken me my whole life to perfect the art of “lack of jet-lag” and I hope these simple tips will ensure smooth travels ahead for you and encourage a life filled with adventure!