Overcome Jet Lag Fast, Just Like Flight Crews Do!
Jet Lag? – there’s no such thing
You hop on a red-eye or embark on journeys longer than 10 hours, crossing time zones, and you’re waiting for jet lag to hit somewhere along the way. Does this sound like you?
What if we told you, that it doesn’t have to be? We have some sure fire remedies to help you overcome jet lag fast.
Our bodies operate on a circadian rhythm – recurring 24-hour cycles that regulate our sanity with sleep and wakefulness. When we travel over time zones – especially moving east – these go out of whack. This is when some of us throw hissy fits and/or get depressed. Get that rhythm back in balance quickly and easily by doing the following simple things.
Stay high.. uhm.. wait.. no.. We mean, Stay UP!
This is the only thing you need to do.
I fly often a 12-hour (before it used to be 14 hours) flight. I stay awake until normal sleeping time at my destination. I may sleep a bit longer than usual the first night. After that I am fully rescheduled and the feeling of being tired in daytime is reduced to a reasonable amount. I practically will not feel a jet lag at all. Within 2 days I am completely done with it. The feeling of jet lag in those two days isn't worth mentioning.
Avoid caffeine (coffee or “energy” drinks) and alcohol.
These can act as stimulant or depressant depending on quantities and other factors. When your body is attempting to adjust, it does not need these artificial highs and lows, and they also cause dehydration. The more you know huh?
If you really want to stretch this, try to cover three meals a day before the trip but do so while on the new time one. Sometimes this means cornflakes at 11pm, but this is certainly worth it!
Stay in the Sun
Get as much sun as possible. It makes you feel better and puts your circadian rhythm back into place, helping you adjust naturally.
The Last Resort
To turn ‘jet lag’ into that ex you used to know, you need to look up to how people do this for a living. Flight crews.
Aside from jet lag, flight crew and pilots deal with ‘flip-flops’, which are essentially back to back flights during the day. This causes something called ‘circadian shift’ and the performance of pilots goes for a toss. You know, those very people who are responsible for our life and safety while up in the air barely get any sleep themselves.
Enter melatonin. It’s a naturally occurring hormone that’s also available as medication. But we recommend this only in the worst of cases, and for you to consult your physician prior. Melatonin will help put your brain into its natural pre-sleep state, it does not knock you unconscious like a sleeping pill would, so you could be awoken from a melatonin induced sleep very easily. It just helps the drifting off to lala land part of the sleep cycle for you.
Basic principles if you haven’t followed along:
· Stay up
· Take melatonin if you need it
· Eat right
· Stay in the sun
· Stay hydrated
Did you like our tips, or maybe you’d like to share something else that worked for you? Do let us know in the comments! And share this advice to others who often get socked by jet lag’s sneaky right hook.