Tips to Beat Jet Lag

The holiday mood is here, and some of us are getting ready for winter vacations! Whether you travel to a tropical island or a winter wonderland – something that can slow down the first days of vacation is getting through jet lag. To help you readjust to a new time zone and kick start your holidays without a headache, we prepared a few tips on beating (and preventing) jet lag symptoms.

What is jet lag?

If you have been debating whether this phenomenon is real, it is indeed. When you travel long distances and across multiple time zones, your body’s biological clock – circadian rhythm, can’t adjust to the new environment too quickly. As a result, you may struggle to fall asleep and feel groggy after the flight. In addition, due to changes in your meal timings and lack of movement throughout the flight, you may experience a lack of appetite, headaches and fatigue. To prevent unpleasant symptoms, it’s very important to help your body adjust to the new time zone and recover properly after the flight.

Ways to get over jet lag

Before the flight:

Rest well before the flight 

Arriving at the airport well-rested and hassle-free is a great way to prevent additional stress for your body and mind. We know it may not always sound realistic (we get the pain of last-minute preparations) – try to spend the day before your flight in a mindful state. Get all your work hassle settled during the week, ensure you pack your bags beforehand, plan your airport trip and spend the day with as little stress as possible. In the evening, try to have an early dinner to fall asleep easier and listen to calming music before bed. 

On the plane:

Refrain from alcohol 

Don’t glamorise sipping Bloody Mary on the plane. There is a misconception that a cocktail is an easy way to fall asleep (and beat aeroplane anxiety), but it can make you more tired and anxious! Alcohol can elevate your heartbeat, trigger your nervous system and leave your body dehydrated — all of this may leave you groggy by the end of your flight. 

Caffeine won’t do, too

If you are taking an early flight, you might feel a strong urge to fill up with coffee to get that energy kick. However, coffee will only give you a short energy spike, followed by a rapid fall in a few hours. Besides, too much caffeine can lead to increased fluid loss. If you feel like having a coffee, stop at just one cup and don’t forget to drink a glass of water to restore the balance. 

Instead, drink your water!

You probably know that already, but drinking plenty of water should be your gospel in all situations. Staying hydrated on the plane, however, is extra important. Research shows that a 10-hour flight may lead to 1.5-2 litres of water loss due to low air pressure and the conditions of an aeroplane. Dehydration during the flight can lead to many issues, including brain fog, bloating, skin dryness and insomnia. Therefore, if your feet tend to swell during the flight, pay attention to your water intake! Proper water intake can help your body regulate your circadian rhythm, which is vital to adjust to a new time zone. Moreover, staying immobile for an extended period may put your blood vessels under additional pressure, so plenty of water can help proper blood circulation and prevent leg swelling and vein thrombosis risks. 

Ensure proper nutrition and increase electrolyte balance

Electrolytes are the essential minerals (magnesium, potassium, chloride and calcium) that optimise a number of functions in your body. Electrolyte loss due to dehydration and poor nutrition during the flight can lead to sleep disorders, fatigue, muscle swelling and headaches. That’s why it’s very important to restore your electrolyte balance as much as possible during and after the flight. Eating bananas, avocados, nuts, and vegetables can get the necessary minerals. Also, you can ensure you maintain your electrolyte balance through additional supplementation – your tailor-made bioniq formula in a handy travel jar will be of great help during the entire trip and on the plane!

Take a moisturiser with you

Dry and itchy skin is very much a part of jet lag. As your body loses water balance, your skin does too. The air in the cabin is extremely dry, so even during a short flight, you may already feel your hands and face getting dehydrated. Get a travel-size moisturiser packed with you on the plane, and don’t hesitate to use it as soon as you take off. 

Upon arrival:

Get sunlight exposure

Getting enough sunlight during the day is paramount for properly functioning your biological clocks. Natural blue light from the sun keeps you energised and tells your body when to wake up. Knowing the trick, keeping your blinds open in your hotel room will help you get up in the morning. 

Readjust your bedtime routine

When you arrive at the new destination, stick to the local bedtime. If you feel sleepy early in the afternoon, resist the urge and stay up a bit longer. On the other hand, if you feel too energised to sleep during the night, try to wake up earlier in the morning and get yourself busy for the day to get yourself “tired” for bed – see the sights, exercise, spend time outside and get all your meetings done. Then, when the evening comes, dim your lights and lower your blue light exposure for at least 2 hours before bed. Try listening to an audiobook or a podcast to fall asleep faster! At first, it might be stressful to beat the urge to sleep in, but the method will get you to follow a normal bedtime routine sooner. In addition, try to readjust your sleep time even before you travel by going to bed earlier or later, depending on the time of your destination. 

Author of the publication

Polina Kuznetsova
Polina Kuznetsova
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