Travelling across time zones? Have no fear! We’re breaking down how to beat jet lag in 5 easy steps.
There are few things more exciting than counting down the months, weeks, and days to a long-awaited trip. Armed with your boarding pass and the excitement of a new destination, what could possibly go wrong? Well, jet lag, for one. It happens, but it doesn’t have to. Follow our tips on how to beat jet lag and you’ll be well on your way to feeling rested and energized on your next trip across time zones.
1. Get comfortable.
The best way to prevent jet lag? Get the proper amount of sleep and avoid disrupting your sleep schedule in the first place. In the quest for sleep, comfort is key! If you can, splurge on business or first class seats, so you can stretch out a bit and actually catch some z’s. Pack whatever will make sleeping more comfortable for you, both in-flight and at your destination. We suggest comfy clothes for the plane, a pillow, eye mask, blanket or scarf, earplugs, and noise-cancelling headphones.
2. Live in the now.
Forget whatever time it is at home and embrace your new time zone as soon as possible. If you can, try to adjust your sleeping patterns gradually a few days to a week before you depart to slowly acclimate yourself to your new time zone. Upon boarding, set your watch to the time at your destination and try to get your mind and body set to that time en route.
3. Say no to naps.
Many people swear by not napping and adjusting to your new time zone as soon as possible. What are some ways to make this transition easier and to fight the urge to nod off immediately upon check-in, even if it’s 9 am at your destination? Staying physically active during daylight hours will give you a natural energy boost until it’s time for bed. Eating according to normal meal times in your destination can also help your body’s clock get on track. Keep a loose schedule for the first few days of your trip and you’ll be adjusted in no time.
4. Break it up.
For super long-haul flights, how to beat jet lag all comes down to breaking up the trip. If your trip requires multiple flights anyway, stop along the way and ease into your new time zones. Just think of it as adding a few bonus mini-vacations to your adventure!
5. Self-care is key.
Now is not the time to throw all your healthy habits out the window. In fact, pre- and in-flight, you should be doubling down on them to keep jet lag in check. Skip the alcohol, stay hydrated — accept water every single time it is offered to you during your flight, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and, if you can, skip the in-flight meal. If packing your own food sounds too daunting, choose a lighter, more healthful meal option, like vegetarian or vegan, when you book your flight.