Whether you are traveling for work or play, jetlag can be a major annoyance. Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce fatigue and other issues caused by jetlag.
1. Try Supplements
Coq10 absorption has been shown to play a key role in generating cellular energy. This effect on cellular energy may help reduce the fatigue caused by jetlag. Additionally, it may help with muscle stiffness and inflammation. Melatonin helps regulate circadian rhythms. Melatonin supplementation may combat the sleep disturbances many people experience after flying. Avoid taking more than 5mg of melatonin per night.
2. Simulate Your Travel Schedule Before You Depart
If you are heading to the east coast, try going to bed a half-hour earlier for several nights before your trip. If you are traveling west, do the opposite. It may also help to adjust your meal times to something close to what they will be when you get to your destination.
3. Get There Early
If possible, get to your destination a few days early so that you have time to adjust before you get started on your itinerary. If you can not block out that much extra time, arrive as early as you can so that you have as much recovery time as possible.
4. Start Adapting to Your New Schedule During the Flight
Adjust your watch to match your destination time zone. Decide whether to sleep or stay awake based on whether you would be asleep or awake during that time in your destination. However, do not try to force it.
5. Stay Hydrated
Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your flight. Avoid alcohol or caffeine close to bedtime. Dehydration can increase your feelings of sleepiness and fatigue. Bring an empty water bottle with you and fill it once you reach the terminal. You may also be able to purchase water at the terminal or on your flight.
6. Get Some Movement
You should avoid heavy exercise before bed after you land, but get some movement in on the flight. Walk around periodically. Try doing some stretches and static exercises. This can help you avoid muscle fatigue and stiffness.
7. Try Natural Light Therapy
Sunlight exposure helps regulate circadian rhythms. When you are heading west, try getting some sunshine in the morning, and avoid light exposure in the afternoon and evening. Doing this can help shift your circadian clock so that you will feel rested and awake at the appropriate times when you reach your destination. You can also try using special lights designed to simulate natural light exposure.
8. Take a Hot Bath Before Sleep
A hot bath can relieve muscle soreness and help you relax so that you can sleep. The change in body temperature that occurs when you get out of the bath can also promote sleepiness.
9. Eat a Healthy Diet
There are some crazy diets out there that some fliers swear by for curing jetlag, but none of them have been proven to work. It is better to eat a normal, healthy, balanced diet. Avoiding meals high in fats or carbs close to bedtime may help you sleep better.
10. Reduce Distractions
If you are having trouble sleeping, try reducing distractions. Earplugs, noise-canceling headphones, white noise or an eye mask may help block out distracting light and noise. Once you get to your destination, try closing the curtains to block out any outside lights.
11. Make Sure Your Sleeping Space Is Comfortable
Try bringing your own pillow and blankets for added comfort. Set the thermostat to a cool, comfortable level. Silence the phones and clocks in your room to make sure they do not wake you up. If you use a white noise machine or a fan at home, bring them with you.
Jetlag is an unfortunate reality of travel for many fliers. Taking steps to reduce or prevent jetlag can make your travel experiences more productive and enjoyable.