Have you ever asked the question – “How to recover from jet lag?” You get off the longest flight ever. You’re blurry and fatigued. You’re irritable, have lost your appetite, and may even feel cold for no apparent reason. You feel you’re sleepwalking your way through the airport. All you want is to get home, pull over the covers, and sleep off this inexplicable exhaustion. Well, if you’ve ever experienced this, then you’re not alone. Scores of people experience severe jet lag that leaves them completely spent after a long flight journey.
WHY DOES JET LAG HAPPEN?
When you’re flying at incredible speeds through different time zones, your body is desynchronized and affected by the speed. Your brain produces melatonin which is the hormone that’s responsible for balancing your body’s “internal clocks.” When this balance is upset, you feel the effects in the form of jet lag.
SO HOW TO GET RID OF JET LAG AFTER A HOLIDAY?
Well, truthfully, there isn’t a foolproof way for you to beat jet lag completely. Whether you’re flying business class or economy, jet lag can hit you regardless of the type of travel class. However, there are certain simple remedies and things you can do that will help speed up the recovery process. We’ve listed some of the best and most popular ones that will answer your query of ‘How to recover from jet lag.’
Prepare before actually departing
If you know you are prone to jet lag, you can do a few things even before you get on board your flight. For instance, if you’re flying west, you will feel that your days are getting longer and if you’re flying east, you will feel they are getting shorter. So help your body adapt to this rhythm a couple of days before you depart. If you’re heading west, stay awake for an hour or two more than usual. If you’re heading east, sleep a few hours earlier than usual. This is one of the best ways and must-do tips for coping with jet lag and sleepiness.
Many travelers heading to different parts of the world on cheap flights don’t realize that carbohydrate-rich food can add to jet lag. Whether it’s airline food or something you’re having on the ground, if it’s richly made then it’s best to avoid it. For example, pasta, rice, burgers, and potatoes, are best avoided if you’re traveling east. They’ll make you feel heavy and increase your need for sleep if had during a layover flight. Similarly, if you’re traveling west, it’s best to pick low-protein food such as fish or eggs that’ll help you stay awake.
Skip Caffeine and Alcohol if possible
The air inside an airplane is usually dry and can cause your skin to dry and stretch as well if you’re deprived of water. Make it a point to drink plenty of water while on board if you wish to avoid this scenario. Try to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages during your flight. While a glass of wine may help you sleep a little, its effect is only temporary and it will actually dehydrate you and make it harder for you to adjust to the new time zone. Caffeine, black tea, and similar drinks are to be avoided for the same reasons. Aim for water or juices. This will go a long way in beating jet lag.
Keep track of the new time zone
When you know you’re flying into a new time zone, it’s best to keep yourself prepared for the rhythm you’re about to encounter when you land. This is one of the best tips on how to recover from jet lag even if you’re flying somewhere on last-minute flights. Keep your watch synchronized with the time zone you’re about to fly into. Try to keep yourself awake if it’s going to be daytime when you land. Alternatively, take a nap if you’ll be landing someplace where it’s night.
Give your body rest for the first couple of days
A long flight journey can take a lot out of your body and leave you exhausted. This is especially severe if you’re flying from a cold destination to a hot one and vice versa. Give yourself the first two or three days after arrival to let your body recover. Don’t underestimate your tiredness and jump into high-intense adventure activities such as hiking or paragliding. Opt instead for short walks to get your body used to the rhythm of the new place.
Repeat the process before heading back home
Use these tips for beating time zone tiredness even before your return journey. Repeat the entire process of acclimatizing your body before you fly back home again. By doing this, you’ll notice that the effects of jet lag are that much lesser when you arrive home. This is one of the best tips on how to recover from jet lag. Most helpful for frequent fliers who constantly need to make last minute travel plans, these are tips that really work when it comes to beating jet lag.