We've all experienced the dreaded effects of jet lag after flying to a new destination, and it can be exhausting! I know that I used to miss out on a lot on the first few days of vacation because I either sleep in too late, or I'm back at the hotel and in bed by 8 pm. It's so much wasted time, especially if you're only away for a few days!
So, I wanted to share with you some of my tried-and-true tips for overcoming the fatigue that comes with Jet Lag, and helping your body get back on track quickly. Let's get started!
What is Jet Lag?
To start, let’s quickly talk about what jet lag is. Jet Lag is a symptom of your body’s internal clock (aka circadian rhythm) losing sync with the 24 hour clock that it’s used to. This normally happens when you’re traveling long distances in a short period of time. So obviously to get over Jet Lag, all we need to do is adjust our circadian rhythm; and there are ways to actually do that easily.
Ok, now let’s get into the tips shall we.
Tip #1: Make Sure You Get Some Sunlight
The best way to overcome jet lag if you’re landing in the morning or afternoon is to get some sun as soon as you land. I found that if I avoid going straight to my hotel and try to explore a little, my body has time to adjust. So what I do is I drop my bags at the concierge, and I immediately go out and explore for at least an hour.
Tip #2: Avoid New Foods
I bet you didn’t expect that to be a jet lag do or don’t, but it is! It’s so exciting to be in a new country, with new foods, and wanting to experience absolutely everything. But I’ve actually come to learn that if for the first day I avoid eating anything “new”, my body can focus on one thing and one thing only - adjusting its clock! Eating something new actually requires your body to put in extra effort to try and learn how to digest it properly, and that can sometimes take away from its ability to focus on adjusting to the new time zone.
I know it sounds ridiculous but trust me. Give it a try, and you may actually feel the difference.
Tip #3: Time Your Supplements
Finding the right Jet Lag sleep supplement is just the first step. Understanding when to take your supplement is a whole different story. I talked to the 2x4 team and the scientists on their team, and they taught me that it’s not always a good idea to just take a sleep supplement when it’s time to go to bed. It actually depends on the direction that you’re traveling.
If you’re traveling eastward, then take your sleep supplement right around the local bedtime.
If you’re traveling west, you’re supposed to take your supplements around midnight! You can either try avoiding sleep supplements all together or take your supplement around midnight.
That’s the best way to make sure you get enough sleep to recover from Jet Lag, quickly.
Some friends of mine also like to try shifting their internal clock before they even get on the plane, which is also not a terrible idea! All you do is for 4 days prior to your journey, you start slowly shifting when you sleep, when you wake, and when you nap (yes you’ll have to force naps in!) That way, by the time you arrive at your destination, you’re basically already adjusted to the new timezone. I haven’t tried this myself yet, but definitely a great idea for next time I travel!
If you have any tips of your own, leave them in the comments below for me and the community to try!