Jet Lag - two seemingly innocent words that can make any traveller, seasoned or otherwise, groan with displeasure. As advanced as we are with the incredible era of technology in 2017, evolution is yet to gift us all a set of wings so that we can soar towards the sunset and not worry about first world problems like air sickness or excess baggage. Until then, fighting jet lag on long-distance flights is our only option of successfully flying from one time zone to the next, without hurting ourselves.
But just because jet lag is a pain in the ass, that doesn’t mean you can’t fight it like a boss! Here are some effective, easy, and tested methods of dealing with jet lag, that’s going to make all your future long distance trips, an absolute breeze.
One of the most effective ways of ensuring that jet lag doesn’t set in is to set your clock to the new time zone even before you board the flight to your destination. Take a minimum of two days to function on your destination time zone, hence giving your body enough time for a smoother transition.
Pro tip: If you’re flying east, go to bed earlier than you would, and if you’re flying west, it’s best to stay up longer than you normally would. To be hella specific, look up the exact number of hours and rest accordingly.
So that you’re adhering to the destination time zone even as you’re making the journey on the flight. This helps you to fight your body’s natural urge to conk off at your designated sleep time and even if you don’t successfully stay awake, you’re still aware of how much time you’ll be losing or gaining by falling asleep
While it’s advised that you stock up on an adequate amount of food to keep you going, make sure you don’t overeat because you’re only going to feel bloated later!
Pro tip: What you eat is also essential to how your body functions on the flight. So if you’re looking to fall asleep faster than you normally would, include heavy, carbohydrate-rich food like bread, rice, potatoes, and pasta-based dishes that can make you drowsy and increase your need to sleep. If you need to stay awake and alert, try protein-rich food items like fish, white meat, and eggs to help you reserve that energy.
Not only are flights with layovers much cheaper than a direct flight to your destination, it can also do wonders for your jet lag when you’re traveling long distances. Spending even up to half a day in your layover city can recharge your batteries and make it much easier on your body to adapt to changes in weather, time zone, and even your appetite!
Which basically means that water in plenty is a good idea for your body, but alcohol or caffeine definitely isn’t! It might seem all too tempting to guzzle a cocktail or two to help you conk off and sleep blissfully, but both coffee and alcoholic spirits are dehydrating agents that are going to leave you groggy and personally attack your jet lag even before it begins!
Because your bladder is going to put up quite the fight on a 7+ hour long flight, and you will need to get as comfortable as possible in the seat that you’ve picked. As tempting as it may sound to pick a spot next to the aisle, believe us when we say that it couldn’t be farthest from the truth. You’ll be subjected to the horde of stewards and passengers walking up and down the flight cabin, which will successfully mess up your sleep and get you even more cranky than jet lag will. Go for window seats that you can prop up a pillow against for a much better sleeping experience.
Pro tip: First and business class seats aren’t always the most economical choice for you, and it can get very cramped otherwise as well. It helps to pay a little extra for seats that provide more leg room, or even offer a steeper recline on your seat for more comfort. Oh and this is the right time to use up your stocked air miles to upgrade your seats!
The worst mistake you could possibly make (not to mention the most common mistake nearly everyone makes) on a long distance flight is to stay confined to their assign seats for most of the duration, causing cramps and other irritable problems in your limbs. The muscles in your body aren’t meant to stay immobile in a place for too long, and the lack of movement restricts blood flow to your limbs, causing immense discomfort. Take frequent walks up and down the airplane aisle, or do small foot and leg exercises while you’re seated, to get the blood moving. Don’t be furniture!
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