Jet lag. Is there anything worse than finding yourself wide awake at 3 am with the dreaded jet lag? Pacing around the house like a deluded tiger, trying to decide whether it would be best to watch TV or clean the cutlery drawer out?
In this week’s podcast, Sonny and I talk about jet lag and a few proven ways in which you can avoid it.
My suggestion wasn’t to get as drunk as possible on the plane thank you very much. I am far too sophisticated and grown-up for that.
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Last year my family and I ( husband and two teenage kids age 16 and 13) backpacked around the world for a year.
Within that year we took a total of twenty-four international flights and seven internal flights – that meant dealing with a fair chunk of jet lag.
By the end of our extended vacation, each of us had discovered a few tricks that would help us sleep better and avoid jet lag.
How to Avoid Jet lag. 12 (common sense) Steps
- Try and work out before your flight. This can be a simple as a walk in the fresh air or a full-blown gym session. It helps if your body feels physically tired before you get on board the flight.
- Adjust your watch to local time as soon as you board the plane.
- If it is nighttime where you are travelling to then do your best to get some shut-eye on the plane. If your flight is in the middle of the day invest in a good eye mask, (we use this one because it works and it is comfy) some headphones and a sleep meditation app (I use this one – it is free and is superb – you’ll be asleep before the drinks trolley is wheeled out.
- Avoid games and movies that will set your heart racing. Unless you are the same age as my eighteen-year-old son, who tells me that this stuff relaxes him. Hmm. I don’t think so. I would advise avoiding anything racey and go for something slow and boring like an episode of Emmerdale.
- Don’t stress it. The biggest lesson I learned whenever I flew was not to stress when I couldn’t sleep – stressing about the fact that you are wide awake and are probably going to suffer from jetlag which will put you out for the next few days will make you feel agitated and tense. Just relax and close your eyes. Resting your body and mind is enough.
- When you arrive at your destination keep to local time.
- Do not, under any circumstance take a nap in the middle of the day. Not unless you want to be awake at 3 am the next morning. Stay awake until at least 7 pm; after that, you are safe to go to bed.
- As hard as it may be, avoid alcohol and heavy meals on the first night in your new destination. The less your body has to deal with when it does finally hit the pillow, the better chance it has of beating jet lag.
- Before retiring to bed, use the same twenty-minute sleep app meditation that I told you about earlier. This guided sleep meditation always helps me to sleep through the night when I am trying to avoid jet lag.
- If you do wake up at the famous 3 am time with jetlag, do not get up. Try not to open your eyes. Lay still and do not stress about sleeping. If you get up and walk around looking for a glass of water then you will find that this pattern continues for a few nights. Do not get out of bed!
- This tip on how to beat jet lag is anew one to me and was brought to my attention by my brother in law who flew to New Zealand from Florida and swears it help him avoid getting jet lag: Do not drink ANY caffeine 48 hours before (or during) your flight. Once you get to your destination resume your normal caffeine intake (assuming that you don’t arrive in the middle of the night that is). He swears by this tip so i wanted to pass it on.
(What happens on the podcast stays on the podcast)
In this week’s podcast episode Sonny and I talk about ways to avoid jet lag, including
Sonny’s worst destination for jet lag (no surprises here…)
What to do when you can’t get to sleep on an aeroplane
Sonny’s tip on the best possible way (but not often advised) on how to beat jet lag
Listen to the podcast episode here!
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