Travelling is one of the most exciting, eye-opening experiences you can have. Getting to immerse yourself in different cultures, seeing landscapes, architecture and different animals for the first time…it’s exciting!
What’s not, is those first few days where your tired, fatigued and feeling ill.
What’s up with that, and how can it be prevented?
What is jet-lag?
- Jet-lag is a disruption of the circadian rhythm also known as the body-clock
- It occurs when traveling through different time-zones
- Makes you feel drowsy, tired, lethargic and overall not good.
The good news is there are some proven strategies to help minimize the side-effects of jet-lag.
Here are the 5 best tips for preventing jet lag and getting the most out of your vacation;
1. Compression Clothing
Traveling in comfortable clothing is super important, especially when you’re on an international flight. You’re dealing with tiny seats, no leg room and not a lot of room to adjust the position. One of the things you can do to help discomfort is to wear compression clothing. This will help to prevent swelling and discomfort by increasing the circulation to your lower body.
2. Hydration / No Caffeine
It’s important to stay hydrated on the flight. Between the panic of packing (if you’re like us and leave some stuff to the last minute) the drive to the airport, lines, excitement for the trip… you can easily become dehydrated. Make sure you’re drinking enough both before and during the flight.
Also, caffeine. Yes, it’s great, I love coffee, but it can definitely have some negative effects especially when you’re trying to train your body to the new time-zone. Ideally, you should try to stay away from it for the day. Let the tiredness work in your favor – it will help when trying to sleep at a different time than you’re used to.
3. Eating For The Destination
A good way to help your body get used to the time-zone difference is to eat when appropriate according to the time-zone your traveling to. This means eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks at the right times (depending on how long your flight is). If that means skipping a meal on the flight, then that’s what should happen (fasting is good for the body!)
4. Blue-Light Exposure
When your on the plane the temptation to use your phone and watch television to pass the time is going to be there. Both of these things are okay as long as during the day according to the time-zone your traveling to. The blue-light exposure from these devices is going to mess with your internal clock, so shut the devices off when it’s night at your destination. If using your phone downloading a blue-light filter can help to reduce the negative effects.
5. Get Outside and Have A Plan
The best thing to do when arriving at your new destination is to get outside in the sun (if at night then try to sleep at the correct time). Try to make your first full day at your destination a day outdoors. Exposure to the sun is going to help your circadian rhythm sync up with the new time zone. A good idea is to have some kind of outdoor tour set up, this will help to keep you outdoors in the sun.
Jet Lag No More
Jet-lag can definitely eat up precious time that could be better spend enjoying yourself. By using these strategies you can ensure you’re in the best condition mentally and physically to get the most your of your vacation.
Have you used any of these on vacation? Are their others that you’ve found that work? Share in the comments below!