Are you traveling abroad this holiday season or visiting friends or family in different parts of the U.S.? The holiday season brings with it many opportunities for travel, whether you’re visiting loved ones or gifting yourself with the trip of a lifetime. It can be difficult feeling merry and bright once you land in a different time zone and experience the challenges of jet lag that accompany it. It can make the holiday season more of an interesting adventure! If you have long days of travel ahead and family time that lasts, and lasts, and lasts (!), you may feel frazzled before the festivities even commence!
Make the most of your trip with these health and wellness tips for avoiding jet lag, because if you’re crossing two or more time zones, jet lag is inevitable. If you’ve ever experienced it before, you know the feeling when you land — you’re a bit out of it. If you land in the day you likely have overwhelming fatigue, with bouts of disturbed sleep at night. Spend more time exploring and less time sleeping at inopportune moments with the tips below!
What is jet lag?
Jet lag is a result of your circadian rhythm — biological clock — being thrown off. This rhythm oversees when you fall asleep and when you wake. Many factors assist it, such as physical exposure to light, eating habits, and engagement with others. Traveling across multiple time zones, however, can disrupt this pattern and ultimately majorly disrupt your internal clock. While traveling, it is always a wise practice to pad a couple of days with sleep time to help combat the effects of jet lag. If you’re on a tight schedule here are some tips for dealing with jet lag.
Tackle jet lag with these tips
Get your ducks in a row (before you leave) – Before you actually set foot on the plane, try and tie up all loose ends. Consider your work commitments and how things will be handled in your absence. Remember the small things, like setting up your email with an auto reply stating that you are out of the office. Complete your travel errands and pack a couple days before you depart; that way, you’re not frantically running around the day you plan to leave. When your ducks are in a row before you leave, you have much more mental space to relax, which makes falling asleep on your flight a little easier.
This is a no-brainer, yet many forego this wisdom. Drink plenty of water while you’re at the airport getting ready to leave, as well as on your flight. Another thing to avoid before your flight is alcohol. We know it’s not a popular choice, but alcohol makes you tired and sluggish — making it difficult to get moving the next day.
It’s easy to stay in your seat while consuming podcasts and in-flight movies, but movement will really help with jet lag. At every opportunity, pace the aisles or stretch your body. When you’re physically comfortable and content, it tells your body to relax!
Before and during your flight, keep your food choices basic — this is not a time for experimenting. Eating foods that you’re accustomed to will help ensure that your body is in good standing, while avoiding any emergencies or discomfort as a result of different food choices.
If you’re able to sleep on the plane, it will help combat jet lag. Be sure to pack ear plugs, a neck pillow, and sleep mask. Try and make the space you’re in calm and relaxing. You could also listen to white noise on your phone and rub a lavender salve on your temples, under your nose, and between your eyes.
Having food you enjoy around is always good practice for fighting off jet lag. Sometimes, your body needs a “pick me up” from nutrients to keep going. Pack snacks that you both enjoy and are healthy. Travel greens that you can mix into water are amazing, as well as nuts, and beef jerky.
If you have the time, about two weeks, gradually adjust your sleep schedule to the targeted time zone you’ll be in. Every day, or as close to it, adjust your wake time and sleep time by an hour. By the time you board the plane, you’ll be very well adjusted!
If you’re able to focus on your landing time, find a flight that arrives in the early evening. If you can do this, you’ll be able to grab a meal and then hopefully crash out for the night.
Once you’ve landed, it will be very tempting to book it to your hotel and sleep, but avoid napping and stay on schedule for your new time zone bedtime. Instead, explore the city you’re in, and stay productive. Take a tour of the Guinness factory, or find a Christkindl market and sip warm Gluhwein.
After all the hustle and bustle of traveling, your immune system may need some support. After all, you were just on a flight with recycled air, and who knows what kind of germs, bacteria, and viruses! Amp up your immune health with ImmPower or ImmPowerD3. Give your system the support of medicinal mushrooms!
Or, if you’re having trouble sleeping in your new time zone, supplement with SLEEPSolve 24/7. This sleep formula includes: magnesium, magnolia bark, melatonin, and 5-HTP all the sleep support power players! Stay safe and healthy while traveling this holiday season.