As a frequent traveler, I’ve learned a thing or two over the years about how to beat the awful fatigue and disorientation that often accompanies you when you travel through many time zones at once. Jet lag can be a total drag, especially when I have to head straight into work right when I get off the plane. Whether you’re moving to a new place, or just going on vacation somewhere many hours away, read my tips below on how to beat and cure jet lag, and shop some of my favorite products to make traveling a breeze!
1. Sleep on the plane. This step is especially important if you’re taking a red eye somewhere and will arrive in the morning at your destination. If you can try to plan your sleep so that you are generally on the same time schedule as the place you are visiting, this will help your body adjust more quickly. Make sure to bring earplugs, an eye mask and an aromatherapy oil roller for pulse points (like this one from Aromatherapy Associates) to help you sleep. Try taking into account what time it is at your destination, but in all honesty, don’t worry too much about that – just enjoy a glass of red wine (I love a Malbec, it’s a muscle relaxant too!)
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Dry airplane cabins can really dehydrate you, which will only amplify any feelings of fatigue that traveling might cause. I drink as much water before and during my flight as possible (and always get an aisle seat because it means getting up a lot too! But that’s also good because it means moving around – I do calf, thigh and hamstring stretches when I wait for the loo). When I land, I usually drink a coconut water, and alkaline water mixed with electrolytes (you can buy packs of these at supermarkets and pharmacies before you fly) as it rehydrates you faster than water. I also take an avocado on the plane: it pads out a boring airplane salad, and nourishes your skin to keep it hydrated.
3. Always nap. This is where my family members disagree with me! My dad worked in the travel industry all his life, and swears by working out the time difference of your destination, and trying as hard as possible to stay awake until you’re on the same time zone. However, I have tried that approach, and what serves me best is sleeping whenever I’m tired. My body needs a lot of sleep at the best of times, so when I’m traveling long haul I take my zzz when I can get it. If that means I’m less tired by the time it’s actually bed time, then I take natural supplements to help me snooze, like below:
4. Try natural sleep supplements. Please check with your doctor before trying any of these, but I like to use natural sleep aids if I have trouble falling asleep at a new destination. Melatonin and valerian root are two great ones that help me doze off more easily, without causing dependence or grogginess in the morning.
5. Stay healthy. Support your immune system by taking lots of vitamins, exercising and eating well. Go for a walk when you arrive at your hotel, get a massage to get the blood flowing, and stretch. People can tend to get sick when they travel, and feeling ill while you’re away from home will only prolong any feelings of jetlag. Bon voyage!