It’s not your imagination. Jet lag is real and has genuine biological consequences! The good news is there are simple ways to reduce its impact on your mental and physical well-being. Here, the Chōsen team shares their top eight tips to overcome jet lag, fast.
Whether you’re traveling for work or for pleasure, you want to arrive at your destination fresh and ready to go. Adjusting to a new time zone can waste precious hours – even days – of exploration time, and that’s exactly what can happen when jet lag takes hold. These smart, simple tips will help you avoid the problem, and make the most of your next long-haul travel experience.
- Skip the meals: Food is a tool our bodies use to tell the time. When we eat, our bodies know it’s time to be awake. So, eating while flying across multiple time zones can be exceptionally confusing to your circadian rhythm. By avoiding some meals during a flight, you’ll help your body rest. You will also improve your ability to adjust to a new time zone by reducing the burden on your digestive system and mitochondria, which are responsible for the metabolic activity of cells in your body. This will leave more energy available for your body to adjust on arrival. Having a good meal balanced in fat, fiber and protein about two hours before flying will keep hunger at bay.
- Eat DHA–rich foods before flying: Consuming foods high in DHA (an essential fatty acid found in salmon and other cold-water fish) helps reduce inflammation in the brain, so add these to your diet in the days before flying. You will be surrounded by electronics on the plane, so you’ll need all the nootropics you can get.
- Snack well (if you need to): If it’s a long flight, take healthy snacks such as raw nuts, and organic protein. Avoid the ice creams, bread rolls and highly processed packaged foods that are often handed out on the plane.
- Stay hydrated: As a general rule, try to consume one liter of water for every three hours in the air. Adding electrolyte tablets to water is also beneficial. Bring along herbal tea bags for relaxation, and to curb any hunger. Avoid alcohol before and during flight.
- Maintain movement: A workout before flying is ideal. During the flight, move around whenever you feel restless. Generally, listen to your body and stretch any areas attracting your attention. Consider taking along myofascial release balls to roll your feet or back during flight.
- Rest on arrival if you need to: Take care of yourself upon arrival and pursue your ideal conditions for a good sleep. Avoid alcohol, sugar and stimulants (coffee/chocolate/exercise) before bed. Turn off electronics and create a dark environment to notify your body it is time to rest.
- Sit back and relax: The lead up to traveling can be hectic, so leave that stress behind on the tarmac. Get into the ideal mindset with music, comfortable clothing and essential oil scents to create a relaxed state.
- Switch off screens and head outside: If you happen to arrive during daylight hours, spend as much time outside as possible to adjust. Time away from electronics will help your internal clock and circadian rhythm recalibrate, and sunshine can assist in keeping you awake.
Your routine at a new destination will be different to that at home (the food will be different, there may not be a gym or quiet mediation space nearby), and this will impact on your ability to adjust. However, if you need a deep meditation, or a little exercise to be able to rest at the end of the day, prioritize it. Simplify your routine down to its most essential elements and jet lag won’t hold you back.
Ready to fly? See where a Chōsen adventure could take you.