Paris. London. Tokyo. Hopping planes, changing time zones and an impressive personal collection of accumulated air miles. It all sounds so glamorous, doesn’t it? We all want to lead the life of the international jetsetter but we fail to take one thing into account: it’s not as glamorous as it sounds. Okay, maybe it is – but that’s only if you have access to a private jet, a personal assistant who will do all of your packing and book your reservations for you, along with a hired staff who will tend to your every desire. But if you’re like the rest of us regular people who simply get excited because you were upgraded to Economy Plus (and you get to keep the complimentary eye covers they handed out at the beginning), then you most likely have fallen victim at some point to the highly anticipated yet unavoidable condition known as jet lag.
Yes, jet lag is temporary, but it still sucks you dry. Your body and mind are not in tune and you feel an overwhelming sense of disorientation as you attempt to adjust to your new time zone. Jet lag can range from a minor sense of exhaustion to feeling as if the ground has been ripped out from under your feet and the wind has been knocked straight out of you. But there’s good news: you can combat this common condition so that you feel its negative effects a lot less.
Even if you aren’t a jet set gal, the holidays are upon us, and for many that means crossing continents and time zones.
If you follow these simple and helpful tips, you can say goodbye to jet lag a lot sooner, and hello to your destination.
Pop Those Pills
Experts recommend taking melatonin, a natural hormone that helps regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle, and studies have shown that taking some melatonin does help fight jet lag. It is recommended to take this supplement after dark on the day of travel and for several days after. And if you are flying east, try taking some around six or seven in the evening for a few days before you fly.
Catch Those Rays
Recharge your body by getting some sun the day before or even the day of your flight. Doing so will not only rejuvenate and energize you but it will also give you a boost of Vitamin D. Sit in a sunny corner for fifteen minutes or take a short walk around the block to get your daily dose.
Adjust That Clock
You don’t need to literally change the clocks in your house, but by preparing for the new time zone that you’ll be in, you’ll be doing your body a huge favor. So if you’re flying east, you should try going to sleep an hour earlier than usual for the few nights leading up to your trip. And if you’re traveling in the opposite direction, stay up a little later than you normally would. But make sure that these adjustments are gradual, as you don’t want to send your body into complete shock.
Avoid That Alcohol
The cabin air in a plane is dehydrating and altitude changes quicken alcohol’s effect on your body (which explains why you feel like such a lush after that mini bottle of Skyy Vodka). Rule of thumb: one drink in the air is the equivalent of two to three drinks on the ground. In addition to feeling dried out, your jet lag will also be worse. So skip the Bloody Mary and reach for that bottle of water instead. You’ll thank yourself later.