Jet Lag is something many travelers fear and even when it is real there are some tips that can help us to minimize or not to be affected at all by this condition. Jet Lag is a group of physiological signs and symptoms that affect people when they travel across a number of time zones. It is more severe when crossing four or more zones, but it does not affect everybody in the same way. Beyond the physiological component it has a powerful psychological one. There are several steps one can take to fight jet lag and to have a more pleasant trip.
1- Get enough sleep before your trip: to leave everything for the last minute is a very big mistake and probably one of the biggest contributors to jet lag. As longer and more challenging a trip is as more rest and good sleep one needs before boarding the plane.
2- Get hydrated: Plane cabins are extremely dry, many studies talk about the important role that dehydration plays in Jet Lag. To prevent this I go beyond just getting the water offered during meals, I carry always with me at least a couple of small bottles of water and I keep asking extra water of the crew from time to time.
3- Eat well and adjust eating times to those of the destination: It is good to avoid heavy meals and to go for those lighter and healthier options. As soon you board the plane try to follow the schedule of meals of the destination and keep doing this on arrival. Forget that “now you are eating lunch, but it is just breakfast time at home.”
4- Avoid caffeine and alcohol: these components not only are overstimulating for you and can mess with your sleep pattern, but they contribute to dehydration.
5- Do not take naps on arrival and await to sleep until night time: It is hard to be so tired and to have to await five or six hours until going to bed, there is when many travelers succumb to the temptation of an afternoon nap on arrival that turns out to be hours of sleep, that is one of the worst mistakes that can weigh heavily in your adaptation for days, if necessary take just a half hour nap.
6- Stay active on arrival: do not kill yourself trying to see the whole city the day that you just arrived but staying active helps a lot to beat Jet Lag. It is a good idea to take a generous walk, to receive sunlight and even to hit the gym to do some light exercise and why not maybe to enjoy a massage in the Spa.
7- Change the hour on your watch: I am always surprise to see travelers that two weeks later are still carrying a home time on their watches. Adjust the hour of your watch to the one of the destination as soon as you board the plane. It is a powerful psycological motivator to help you to adapt to new schedule.