If you’ve ever traveled between time-zones, you’ve likely experienced jet lag. With symptoms like sleepiness during the day, insomnia at night, irritability, headaches, and hunger at “off” hours, jet lag can be a real drag! Generally, the body adapts to a new time zone at a rate of 1-2 time zones per day; for example, if you crossed 6 time zones, the body will adjust in 3-5 days. But who, really, has all that time to adjust? Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help your body recover more quickly, making the jet lag less intense.
Healthy Tips to Avoid Jet Lag
- Adjust your sleep patterns. Especially if you’re traveling west to east, begin adjusting the time you go to sleep in half-hour increments, a few days before your trip.
- Get on local time. Once on board the plane, adjust your watch to reflect the time of your destination. This is mostly psychological, but it can help you get into the mind-set of what you’ll be doing once you land.
- Stay hydrated! Many symptoms of jet lag can be further aggravated by dehydration, like headaches and irritability. Be sure to drink a full glass of water before, during and after your flight, and avoid alcohol and coffee as they can further dehydrate the body.
- Make some moves. When the “fasten seat belt” light turns off, get up and walk around! A quick trip to the bathroom, or just standing up and stretching, is exactly what your body needs.
- Get outside! Sunlight is a powerful stimulant that helps to regulate your circadian rhythm. When you arrive at your destination, get outdoors and soak in the rays.
- Get some Z’s. While in-flight movies may make the time pass more quickly, taking a nap would be much more beneficial. Bring an inflatable pillow and an eye mask on the plane, and opt for noise canceling headphones whenever possible.
- Eat well, and take supplements! As always, don’t deviate from your program with unhealthy airport food – plan ahead and bring Thermo-Snacks®, chopped veggies, or pieces of fruit. Remember to take all of your supplements every day, including your multivitamin and B12.
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