How to Beat Jet Lag
While it can be glamorous being a world traveler, jet lag can really get in the way of your vacation– if you let it. Symptoms of jet lag are not fun and can include drowsiness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, swelling, headaches and even fatigue and insomnia. While these ailments may not be life-threatening, they can make living difficult, especially for those who travel for business or sports competitions. When traveling across several time zones, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to steer clear of all jet lag effects, but with a little proactive know-how, you can make sure jet lag doesn’t interfere with your vacation!
You Snooze, You Lose
No matter how tired you are, don’t take a nap upon arrival You’ve been planning this vacation for months; the last thing you want to do is spend it sleeping inside your vacation rental. It’s a better idea to adjust to the time you’re in, not the time you’re used to. Reset your watch to the time zone that you are traveling to. If you arrive in the morning, fight the urge to take a nap, and try to wait until the local bedtime to sleep.
Water You Waiting For?
Staying hydrated is key to staving off jet lag. The lack of humidity and air circulation inside the airplane cabin can lead to dehydration so it’s especially important to quench your thirst during a flight. And staying hydrated does not mean ordering a cocktail the minute the plane takes off. Alcohol and coffee are both known to dehydrate, so skip the cup of Joe and order a sparkling water instead. Tip: Don’t forget the moisturizer, nasal spray and eye drops, especially if you wear contact lenses.
Pack a Snack
Having a healthy snack handy can go a long way to tiding you over when traveling. Especially if you plan to travel on the redeye or other odd hours, you may have trouble finding food when you’re hungry. This isn’t a license to load up on Twinkies, however. Think lean proteins, like low-fat string cheese or nuts. Filling up on carbs will only make you sleepy, so save the French fries and pasta for when you’re feeling more energized.
Move It Or Lose It
Start out on the right foot. Upon arrival, take a brisk stroll, a jog or a swim. Kick-starting your energy level in your new destination will get your vacation started on the right foot. Getting out in the sunlight will also help your body’s natural clock get back on track. But you don’t have to wait until you reach your destination to get the blood flowing. Frequent stretches or walks down the aisle when the Seatbelt Sign is off are always a good idea.
Dress to Decompress
The days of dressing up for travel are long gone, so make sure you are comfortable. What you wear and how you sit on the flight will make a difference. Wear loose clothing that you can move around or sleep in, like your favorite pair of pants. And a sweater or sweatshirt can be a lifesaver on an especially chilly flight.