Jet Lag: 6 Tips to Quickly Get Over Your Travel Fatigue
By M L | Updated December 17th, 2021
Ah, jet lag, the traveler’s worst enemy.
Jet lag occurs when you quickly travel across time zones, and this causes your body to respond by falling out of its natural circadian rhythm. While it usually only lasts for a short time, it can be a major buzzkill while traveling.
These 6 helpful tips to get over jet lag will help you combat your symptoms and enjoy your travels.
What Is Jet Lag?
Jet lag happens when your natural circadian rhythm is disrupted by travel through several different time zones quickly. The result is a mismatch between your internal clock and the time zone you’re in, a feeling of exhaustion sets in because you’re still based around your origin’s time.
Symptoms Of Jet Lag
- Mood Swings
- Loss Of Appetite
- Gastrointestinal distress (constipation and diarrhea)
Jet Lag Facts
- The more time zones you cross the worse your jet lag will be
- Symptoms occur more often when flying east
- Most people feel better within 3-4 days
- This is very common when traveling and nothing to worry about long-term
1. Arrive At Your Destination Early
If you are traveling for a specific event or for work it’s a good idea to arrive at your destination a few days early. This will give your body a little extra time to adjust your circadian rhythm.
2. Adapt To Conquer
Although it’s difficult to do, try to adapt to the local time zone as quickly as possible. You will have more trouble on your trip if you continue to eat and sleep at the times that worked in your home time zone.
3. Manage Sleep
Jet lag will have you wanting to sleep in the middle of the day, but don’t let that happen. Avoid sleeping during the day at all costs, and that includes napping. Sleep when it’s appropriate in your destination. If you are flying overnight try to catch some shut-eye while you are airborne. Don’t forget to pack noise-canceling headphones and an eye mask.
4. Stay Hydrated
It’s easy to get dehydrated while traveling long distances and wanting to limit water so that you are not constantly in the restroom is natural. Staying hydrated will help combat jet lag symptoms. Carry a reusable water bottle with you while traveling, just make sure it’s empty before you go through security.
5. Get Some Light
Light is one of the most powerful influences on circadian rhythm, and light exposure reduces jet lag. Get outside in the sunshine during the day to help reset and release melatonin naturally. This is also a great time to get in a bit of exercise so that you feel recharged for your upcoming adventures.
Before your trip, morning light will help if you are traveling east and specific lamp light exposure at night will help if you are traveling west.
Your body naturally produces melatonin to trigger sleep, but you can also get melatonin in supplement form. Taking melatonin will help to lessen the symptoms of jet lag and will also give you a restful night’s sleep during your travels.
It’s a win-win!
While jet lag is a common condition for travelers, the symptoms are annoying at best. Experiencing jet lag can put a real damper on your trip, but keeping a new schedule and using these 6 helpful tips to get over jet lag will make you feel better in no time.