If you travel a lot – or even once in a blue moon – perhaps you know what it feels like to have jet lag. Jet lag is similar to a hangover. You may feel lethargic, disoriented, dried out, or just plain tired. This feeling is not a good way to kick off your trip, especially if you are traveling to relax and unwind for a vacation.
There are some ways to beat jet lag. Part of the problem is that being on an airplane with so many people can lead to sickness, especially if you have a weak immune system. Sometimes people overextend themselves right before they go on a trip, because they are trying to balance normal work and family responsibilities, plus add in the preparation. Instead, you should be resting up! Building up your immune system is one way to beat jet lag and the fatigue that goes along with it. Although it is not a guarantee that you will not get sick, you are less likely if you have a strong immunity. When your body is weak, it becomes more difficult to fight off the sickies.
To overcome this:
- Beef up on the vitamins for at least a month prior to your trip
- Get plenty of rest (which most people do the opposite as they prepare in between balancing other obligations)
- Don’t wait until the last minute to pack; instead, start a week ahead and put things in your suitcase as you think of them
- Drink plenty of water and up your daily fruit intake
- Take some melatonin, which is a natural hormone that regulates your wake/sleep cycle
Another common problem is dehydration. When you get to your hotel room after a long flight, you may notice your lips and skin feel dry and/or chapped. When you are dehydrated, it starts taking effect on your brain and other organs. This can also lead to the feeling of tiredness. Dehydration and tiredness have a lot of the same symptoms.
If you have difficulty sleeping on an airplane, avoid taking the redeye flights. This will only cause you a huge setback in your sleep pattern because your body will stay awake for the duration of the trip.
Another little known way to beat jet lag is by stretching and exercising a few times during the day. It may look weird, but the people you meet do not know you. There are some simple stretching exercises you can do to keep your body “alive” and less tired. Even during the flight, you can stand up and stretch out a few times.
Lastly, set your clock to the time zone you will be traveling to approximately one day ahead of schedule. This can help trick your body into getting readjusted.