5 Tips for Fighting Jet Lag

June 2, 2018
view of vancouver from plane

Let’s talk jet lag, it's the worst. It sucks to travel halfway around the world only to be too tired and sick to enjoy your new surroundings. There are so many tips and tricks out there for combatting jet lag and I’ve tried a lot of them. So here’s what works. My methods are tried and true, I did each and every one of these things during or after my flight to Hong Kong (which was a 36 hour travel day, 20+ hours were spent in the air) and I felt fresh as ever when I woke up this morning.

Leave Early and Arrive Late
In a recent travel post, Thomas from Gal Meets Glam said that he and Julia prefer early flights for outbound and late flights for coming home. Traveling is exhausting and no matter how much I sleep on the plane, I'm tired when I arrive at the hotel. By planning to arrive in the evening, you avoid forcing yourself to stay awake when all you want to do is get in bed. If you time your flight right, you can get off the plane, check into your hotel, and go straight to bed. Even better, if you do a quick tidy when you leave the house in the morning you ensure that you come home to a neat house at the end of your trip and there’s nothing better than that.

Balance Sleep & Awake Time
Timing your awake time and sleep time well can be the key to easily transitioning from one time zone to the next. If your flight is early in the morning, I recommend getting on the plane and going straight to sleep. Once you wake up, have breakfast and try to stay awake so your body feels like it’s on a normal schedule. Sleep is important, but if you sleep through the entire flight it’ll be harder to sleep through the night when you arrive at your destination. Actively using your brain on a flight makes it easier to stay awake than doing something passive like rereading your favorite book or watching a movie. I’m less likely to fall asleep if I’m writing a blog post or doing a sudoku puzzle than if I’m watching a movie or reading New Moon (like I mentioned in my last post…it’s all about balance). Plus, when you’re going to sleep for the night at your hotel, it’ll be easier if you feel accomplished and you’re not worried about the time you lost while traveling.

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated. I talked about hydrating my skin in my beauty travel essentials post last week but for fighting jet lag it’s important to hydrate your body. I drink an immeasurable amount of water when I’m traveling. I try to have a glass before I leave the house, I buy a bottle of water in the airport, and I always ask for water as my beverage on the flight and at every meal. Staying hydrating makes me feel less tired and helps with digestion. Also, planes circulate air that doesn’t stay clean forever, so it’s important to keep your body strong to avoid sickness.

Eat As Healthy As You Can
It’s hard to eat well while traveling. Being vegan helps in some ways because it limits what I eat, but on long flights, it can be extremely difficult. I bring healthy snacks from home such as cashews and pecans (yummy & convenient) as well as Sabra’s hummus & pretzel cups (they're supposed to be refrigerated but it won’t kill you if it’s in your bag for a few hours). Not only are these foods rich in protein, but they’re more natural than the chips and cookies they give you on the plane and they’re available to buy at most airports. Eating healthy while traveling is a lot easier on the stomach/digestive system, but it also means you don’t feel bloated and tired (in a bad way) when you land.

Exercise When You Arrive
I know what you’re thinking and I use to think it too, “there’s no way I’m running a mile after a day of travel.” But, after checking into my hotel in HK I went straight to the gym and did my normal workout. I try to work out the first morning I wake up in a new place, so I can get the lay of the land early on and get back into my normal routine. When we were in the Dominican Republic, I made an effort to go straight to the gym the first morning because it’s good to work your muscles after you’ve been sitting for hours the day before. However, if you land early in the evening and have too much energy or none at all, a power walk down the street or a half hour on the treadmill is extremely beneficial. If I can’t sleep, I try to tire myself out so I can sleep through the night. On the other hand, if I'm exhausted I wake my body up and hold on for a few more hours so I don’t wake up too early. It can be tricky, but if you do it right it’s tremendously helpful.

What are your best tips for fighting jet lag? I thought about trying flight fasting, but I’m prone to passing out if I don’t eat. xx, Lauren
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