If you’re a traveler who’s thought how to recover from jet lag, you aren’t the only one to have done so. Flying at odd hours and through different time zones only to arrive at your destination plagued with fatigue instead of excitement is all but too common now. Jet lag can more often than not become a constant companion, albeit an unwanted one, whether you’re flying across the state or going abroad. But before we tell you how to get over jet lag, let’s find out what jet lag actually is and the reasons behind it.
What is jet lag and what are the causes for it?
Human bodies are programmed to naturally perform a number of activities such as eating, sleeping, and exercising throughout the 24-hour period of a day. These inbuilt routines by which we function are called circadian rhythms that are thrown into disarray when we fly through different time zones. The unpleasant resulting phenomenon of this is known as jet lag.
What are some jet lag symptoms and signs?
Some very common symptoms of jet lag include extreme fatigue, diarrhea, headache, anxiety, dehydration, confusion, loss of appetite, irregular bowel movements, nausea, and sweating. However, these are just a few common signs and different people are affected differently by jet lag depending on stress levels, age, and the state of physical health. Thereby, the best way to get over jet lag may vary from person to person.
How long does it usually take someone to recover from jet lag?
Answering the query ‘how to recover from jet lag’ isn’t as simple as it may seem. While there is no specific time period for jet lag to last, recovery may depend on the number of time zones one crosses while traveling. For instance, if you’ve flown through 6 time zones, it could take your body typically 3 to five days to adjust to the sudden time change. The good news is that jet lag is temporary and most travelers recover within a couple of days.
Here’s how to overcome jet lag in 9 easy ways:
While most travelers know how to find cheap airline tickets, many are left stumped when it comes to dealing with jet lag. Whether you’re traveling in economic or business class flights, jet lag can strike anyone anytime. However, there are a few simple things you can do before, during, and after a flight to help beat jet lag. Listed here are 9 easy ways to learn how to recover from jet lag.
- Try natural light therapy
For those who wish to know how to recover from jet lag, this is among the top things to do. Exposure to light is believed to help circulate the circadian rhythm of the body. If you cannot access natural light for some reason, say an emergency meeting or so, there are artificial light boxes available that you can use. Just be mindful that too much exposure isn’t good either and can actually end up having the opposite effect.
- Stay hydrated
One cannot underestimate the importance and benefits of staying hydrated especially when it comes to flight journeys, even if it’s on last minute flights. If you suffer dehydration during a flight journey, your jet lag could get worse and you will take a lot more time to recover from it. Insufficient water intake will also harm your skin. Keep yourself from being dehydrated and drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Especially on long haul flights, it may be tempting to enjoy a glass of wine thinking it will help you doze off. However, alcohol has dehydrating effects on the body and may actually contribute to helping you stay awake. If you don’t want to deal with how to recover from jet lag later on, don’t drink on the flight. Avoid caffeine and other caffeinated drinks for the same reason. Your body will be grateful for your decision to pass over these drinks on the flight.
- Minimize sleep distractions
From crying toddlers to chatty co-passengers, there are several distractions to keep you up when trying to sleep on the flight. While you may not be able to do anything about those, you can definitely do other small things to make yourself more comfortable. For instance, you could keep the lights to a minimum, use an eye mask, plug in your noise-canceling earphones, and invariably shut everything and everyone out. Your mind and body will rest better with fewer distractions.
- Take a hot bath before bedtime
So you’ve arrived at your destination, but your body still feels beat up. What do you do? How to recover from jet lag now? The best way to get over jet lag is to take a hot bath before bedtime. The warm water will help relax your sore muscles from the flight journey while the change in body temperature will enable you to sleep a lot quicker and more peacefully. This is a sure fire way to recover faster from jet lag.
- Take rest for a couple of days
What your body needs to adjust to a new place, new environment, and a new time zone is a healthy mix of relaxation and activity. However, it is not advisable to over-exert your body with intense activity such as trekking or rock climbing. Give your body a couple days’ rest upon arrival and start with something easy such as a light jog or a short walk. Wait for the big things until your body is ready to handle that kind of pressure.
- Keep track of the new time zone
If you want to know how to recover from jet lag faster, one of the best ways is to prepare your body for flying into a new time zone. Once seated, set your watch according to the time zone in your destination so that you are aware of the time you are arriving. Adjust your body likewise. For instance, you can try being awake if you’re arriving in the morning or doze off if your arrival is at night time.
- Take Melatonin drug
Naturally secreted Melatonin regulates circadian rhythms in our bodies and enables us to sleep better. But the jury is still out there on whether or not the supplement of Melatonin can help combat jet lag. However, many travelers still go ahead and use it to aid their recovery from jet lag. You can do it too provided it is done under the skillful guidance of your medical practitioner. This may prove to be one of the answers for at least some if not all travelers when dealing with the important query of ‘how to recover from jet lag.’
- Consider medication
If you’re still having trouble tackling jet lag after following the steps mentioned above, consider seeing medication. Ask your doctor to prescribe medication to help you sleep better and aid your body to recover from jet lag. If you’re flying somewhere on cheap flights for a work-related trip and have a meeting immediately upon arrival, you can ask for medication to help you stay alert for a couple of hours. Once your meeting is done, you can head back to your hotel and let your exhausted body relax.
Simple but effective, these are a few top ways you can use to beat jet lag! Don’t let the fear of jet lag keep you from flying. Follow these tricks the next time you wonder how to recover from jet lag and help your body to normalize faster. Be a pro at beating jet lag and learn to enjoy your flight journeys!