I still remember my first terrible jetlag experience. I flew to Tokyo for work and didn’t get on local time for the entire trip. It was awful. Though getting back on San Francisco time was a breeze…
Luckily I’ve done a lot of traveling since then and I’ve picked up some great tricks and tips to help beat jetlag.
For international travel I highly recommend an overnight flight. Arriving at your destination in the morning is a great way to give yourself a fighting chance to get on the local time. If that’s not an option, try to schedule a flight that arrives during the day. Which leads to my next tip…
When you land in your destination – Go outside! The most basic way that your body knows what time it is, is light. Your body is used to being awake when it’s light out, and asleep when it’s dark. So head outside for a walk, sightseeing, or laying on the beach/pool deck. Let your body know what time it is after all those hours in the clouds.
Getting in a sweat session once you land in your destination is a must. You’ve been seated
forever for a while so the movement will help get your blood moving and loosen your muscles. Walk, run, swim, gym session – Whatever you have the time and energy for! Even 10 minutes of stretching can be super beneficial. I love to travel with booty bands since you can do so much with them and they take up zero space.
It’s so tempted to start the flight with champagne or start drinking coffee the moment you wake up. Fight the urge and order water. Staying hydrated will help you in so many ways – Keeping your muscles from cramping, helping you fight off what the guy coughing next to you has, hydrating your skin… It works wonders. I like to pack a water bottle on my travels and refill it throughout the day so I’m not relying on single use plastic.
Naps are SUPER tempting when you’re in a new time zone, but don’t give into the urge. In fact, try not to sit down! If you sit on a comfy hotel bed you’re toast. Try as hard as you can to stay up until a reasonable “bedtime” in the local time zone. I always have a plan for after I land to help me stay moving. On our recent trip to Australia we had a field trip planned for as soon as we unpacked our suitcases!
You’ve gotten light, you’ve worked out, you’ve stayed awake – Now what? Now you have to try to sleep through the night! Melatonin or magnesium can help you stay asleep once you’re down. Working out will also help wear you out!
What’s YOUR go-to jetlag tip?