3 Tricks to Beat Jet Lag
You touch down in New York after a long flight from Los Angeles. You’ve just crossed 3 time zones and your body knows something is up. You stumble off the crowded plane and things just don’t feel right. You regret the glass(es) of wine you had at the airport bar. You try to sleep when you get to your hotel but you just can’t. Then you can hardly keep your eyes open for the next two days.
It’s an all too familiar feeling that leaves business travelers and vacationers alike dreading their decision to sit in the middle seat and wishing they had splurged for first class. Hard to argue with the unpleasant nature of jet lag. Medically referred to as desynchronosis, jet lag is a condition that results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms as a result of rapid long-distance travel from west to east or east to west via high-speed aircraft.
Here are 3 tricks that might just help you beat jet lag on your next long flight.
1.) Hydrate before, during, and after your flight
Airplanes are high altitude flying tubes with less than 20% humidity in them. They can and will suck the water right out of your body. Dehydration is incredibly common when traveling by air and all the symptoms of jet lag are amplified by dehydration. Preparing for your flight with proper hydration is key to giving your body the best chance possible of getting to your destination without being a completely dried out raisin.
Before you depart for the airport, be sure to pack Liquid I.V. (Link opens in new window.) in an easy to access pocket of your carry-on. Mix and drink one bottle of Liquid I.V. before leaving the house or on your way to the airport to help hydrate your body in preparation for the long flight ahead.
Once you get through security, grab a bottle of water and stash it in your carry-on with your supply of LIV. Airlines don’t offer you much in the hydration department so it’s wise to be prepared. Drinking a Liquid I.V. on your trans-meridian flight will help your body absorb precious electrolytes and water that the altitude and dry air deprive you of.
Once you land, be sure to continue drinking plenty of water. Adding Liquid I.V. Hydration Multiplier to your bottle helps your body get the most from your water. How? Liquid I.V. utilizes Cellular Transport Technology (CTT) to deliver hydration to your bloodstream faster and more efficiently than water alone.
2.) Upon arrival of your destination, force yourself to stay awake until local bedtime
This can prove to be incredibly difficult, but forcing yourself to stay awake until a proper hour is one of the ultimate keys to fighting off jet lag. Getting your body to adjust to the new time zone takes some time, but getting on a good schedule from the get go is one of the smartest things you can do. When you get to your destination, get out and go for a walk while enjoying the sunlight. Both will help you stay awake longer. Once you’ve made it past dinner hours, you can allow your tired body to hit the pillow. You will likely wake up early on the first day, but that’s okay – you are on the right track.
3.) Exercise on a Schedule Before Your Flight and Upon Arrival
Getting on a workout schedule before your trip is a great way to get your body prepared for the long journey. Then sticking to a workout routine at scheduled times during the day once you get to your destination helps your body stay in rhythm. Researchers found that scheduled exercise actually modifies the molecular clock in tissues like muscles and lungs. You are able to adapt better to even 8 hour time shifts if you exercise at the same time each day. However, this method has no effect on the brain’s central clock. The findings of this study were published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
Stretching on the plane is a great way to keep your body’s blood flow going until you get to your destination. It not only feels great but also gives your mind and body some relief from all of the inactivity. There are a number of simple stretching exercises you can do on long flights. Check out your in-flight magazines for tips.
In summary, there isn’t a “magic pill” for jet lag, but science has shown that there are a number of things you can do to prepare and recover quicker. Enjoy your next trip and leave the jet lag behind!