This is a contributed post by Krista Harper
So, you have your bags packed, your checklist checked, and your tickets in hand. Taking a trip can be one of the most fun and exciting adventures you can have with your family and friends or even solo. Even traveling for work can be enjoyable if you have a few spare minutes here and there to take in a little local atmosphere.
But the one thing that can ruin the beginning of the trip (or the entire thing if it’s a short two or three-day mini vacation) is suffering from a case of jet lag. Here are a few suggestions to tone down that post-flight sickness that the travel experts we consulted with all seemed to agree on:
Stay Awake During Flight and After Landing
The only exception to this rule would be if it were late-night or overnight in the destination to which you are traveling. Otherwise, if it’s daytime you want to stay awake and alert, both while you are on the plane and after you arrive. You need to stay awake until bedtime that evening if you want to kick the jet lag quickly and not have it linger on over the next few days.
Eat a Healthy Diet Leading Up to Departure
Nutritious and lean foods that are high in vitamins and nutrients help to regulate so many functions in our body, one of them being sleep. When we stuff ourselves with processed foods and junk treats we throw our moods, energy levels, digestion, sleep patterns, and numerous other biological processes out of whack. This, in turn, makes us feel tired and sluggish when we should be alert and full of pep.
Start Adjusting Your Sleep Schedule Beforehand
The most consistent suggestion we found for this particular tip was to begin changing your daily rest cycle to align with your upcoming destination about a week prior to leaving, if at all possible. Your body functions on what is referred to as a circadian rhythm. It is basically an internal clock which is found in all of the major organs and systems. It controls things like energy, hunger, sleep, emotional balance, and several others.
Keep Hydration Levels Up
One of the biggest reasons we feel so sleepy on or after flights is because we are not properly hydrated when we take off. Beginning with drinking eight to twelve ounces of water an hour or so before your flight, you should continue drinking eight ounces of water or tea for every one hour you are in the air. And don’t worry, getting up to make a few bathroom visits will let you stretch your legs and move around as well, helping to energize you a little bit more.
A Few “Don’t” Tips
Now that you have a few tricks up your sleeve for what you should do to beat that jet lag and decreased energy, here are a few things you should not do:
- Do not drink caffeine or alcohol (both disrupt sleep cycles)
- Do not eat large or carb-loaded meals before or after takeoff
- Do not exercise close to bedtime
- Do not use bluescreen devices within one hour of bedtime
- Do not use sleeping pills
Utilizing these, and any other helpful tips that you can find online or from other fellow travelers should have you ready to hit the ground running on your vacation, and ready to enjoy every minute of it!